Durango Power House

Year Listed: 2001
County: La Plata County
Construction Date: 1893
Threat When Listed: Demolition 
Status: SAVE-2011
 

In 1893, the Durango Light and Power Company proudly opened its Power House, providing modern A/C power to Durango long before the cities of New York or Chicaogo.  The building boaseted cutting-edge Spanish Mission architecture, the first of its kind in Colorado.  When listed on the Endangered Places list, the plant sat abandoned, considered an “eyesore” along the Animas River in the herat of Durango.  Today, the building is Saved! on the National Register of Historic Places being the oldest known A/C power plant remaining in the nation.

Concerned the building would be torn down, a group of citizens set out to rescue the Powerhouse, forming the Durango Discovery Museum to make public its important tale.  City Council voted to give the museum a chance instead of demolishing it.  Local professionals teamed together to design the museum, while state and federal agencies, the City of Durango, individuals, and local corporations proided needed funds.  The Children’s Museum of Durango reached an agreement with the City of Durango to lease the building. The partnership lead to renovation and created the Children’s Discover Center.  State Historical Fund grants were administered to stabilize the exterior and further assistance was provided by the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program.

In 2002, the Durango City Council passed a resolution supporting the use of the powerhouse as the Durango Discovery Museum.  Durango Discovery Museum volunteers  obtained grants for historical renovation, asbestos removal, and site cleanup from the State of Colorado. The cleanup, renovation, and restoration of the exterior of the building were completed in 2006.  The museum opened to the public in 2011.

Additional Links: 
Durango Discovery Museum

 

Donate to CPI

We hope you will extend your appreciation for Colorado's heritage by helping us take advantage of this $1 to $1 matching campaign. Learn more about our matching campaign and make your tax-deductible donation today!

Matching Campaign

Thank you to our donors for the 2022 matching campaign!
 

Annie Mabry

Dave and Corinne Lively

Gregory Friesen

William West

Keith Brooke

Paula Sutton

Richard and Bonnie Scudder

Melinda Elswick

John Quest

Richard and Patricia Cronenberger

Newmont Corp.

Kathleen Delzell

Lynda Heckendorn

Donald and Glenita Emarine

Sally Hopper

Marcia and Will Johnson

Don Stott

Sydney Nathans

Robin Cope

Kintz & Family

Anne Goolsby

Sarah Hite

Kevin Kearney

Monta Lee Dakin

John and Camille Palmeri

Sonya Ellingboe

Tim & Kris Hoehn

Leo H. Smith

Russell E. & Carol. H. Atha, III

Melanie Roth

Beverly Rich

Christopher Erskine

John Boydstun

Corinne A. Koehler

Nancy Eastman

Joan Strobel-McLean

Tomas A. Hart

Kay Lynn Hefley

Bennett Boeschenstein

Vincent Szafranko

Maureen Espinoza – The Colorado Group

Robert Renfro

Eric Bittner

Janet Dahlquist

William S. Saslow

Dave Hertel

Tim White – White Construction Group

Dan Corson

Ian Lyle

Anonymous

Kaaren Hardy

Terry Tomsick

Carolyn & Don Etter

Kevin E. Corwin

Walter & Susanna Weart

Heather Eckels

Bernadette Kelly

Virginia & Robert Fuller

Lori Hunter

Rebecca & Keith Goodwin

Bob & Hilda Chow

Diamond Campground

Featured Project

Preservation for a Changing Colorado

Historic preservation has a direct economic benefit to communities and Colorado! Take a look at the 2017 study, which considered the ways adaption of historic places has a direct financial effect on the state.

This updated, most resent study, was the result of a partnership between Colorado Preservation, Inc and History Colorado, funded by a grant from History Colorado's State Historical Fund. Prepared by Clarion Associates, the new report document the economic benefits of rehabilitation projects, analyzes property values and neighborhood stability in local historic districts, and summarizes the increasing impact of heritage tourism, private preservation development and the success of Colorado’s Main Street program.

In a key finding, researchers determined that for every $1 million spent on historic preservation in Colorado it produced $1.03 million in additional spending, 14 new jobs, and $636,700 in increased household incomes across the state!

The 2017 report also considers the important role preservation plays in helping Coloradans provide new spaces for creative communities and co-working, create and sustain meaningful places, responds to the state’s changing demographics, and addresses climate concerns.

Click Here to see download and read the full report, "Preservation for a Changing Colorado".