Washington Architecture: Steam Plant Square and Gas Works Park

New Architecture from Around Washington

written by Sheila G. Miller

With new construction happening all the time, it’s important to recognize the people who are breathing new life into old buildings.

Steam plant Square

Steam Plant Square started as a functional steam plant some seventy years ago, providing steam heat to downtown Spokane. The boiler was shut down in 1986. After sitting vacant for a decade, a team specializing in historic renovations took over the building and renovated it to create office, retail and dining spaces. Last year, the building was renovated again, this time to upgrade the Steam Plant Kitchen + Brewery and add a rooftop events center. The upgraded spaces were expected to reopen January 1.

Gas Works Park

When Seattle’s gasification plant on Lake Union closed in the 1950s, it left behind a toxic wasteland in a beautiful part of the city. The area was converted to Gas Works Park in 1975, offering open spaces and preserved structures, as well as a play barn with brightly painted machinery in a transformed exhauster-compressor building. Now the park’s play area is getting an upgrade to bring it up to current safety standards and to make it ADA-compliant. The project will also replace a bathroom structure and improve one of the entrances to the park.


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