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Austin Power Plant

The first ever “Hot Rod Revolution” traditional style car show was held here in Austin a couple of years ago — and the venue was the “Austin Power Plant”.  While this photo essay is NOT about the car show itself, I have included a couple of pictures of some mighty fine hot rods.  The power plant has been pretty much “off-limits”, fenced in, locked up, blocked off, etc since it was decommissioned in 1989.  While at the car show, I thought it would be pretty neat if I could get inside the plant and check it out — so I walked around to each and every door — and — you guessed it — the very last one was unlocked and slightly open — so I went inside. While most of the large equipment had been removed long ago, I was able to get a few interesting shots (at least to me).

Now for a brief history of the plant:  This was Austin’s #2 Power Plant and was commissioned in 1948 when the City only had 132,000 people. The initial construction phase of the plant was completed in 1950. In 1960, the Plant was renamed for Walter E Seaholm who had served the city for 30 + years in roles such as City Manager, Directory of Utilities and superintendent of water and light. The second phase of construction was completed in 1955. The Plant continued to produce power until 1989 when it became unprofitable to operate and was shut down.

Hope you enjoy some of the pictures…….

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. 08/26/2012

    Great shots – I have always wanted to get into that power plant.

  2. 08/27/2012

    Nice series of shots. Glad to door was unlocked!

  3. 08/28/2012

    Wonderful series of shots. I like the way that you have a mixture of wide-angle shots and close-up ones. They all contribute to give a gritty, industrial vibe, a throwback to an era when things were not as pristine and antiseptic as they are now.

  4. 08/29/2012

    The color blocks with the doors – – – :X I want to reach in and open them!

  5. 08/30/2012

    Hey Art … thanks for the comment this morning at Pairodox Farm. I swung through Art’s Abode this and … WOW. You say in your ‘About’ that you like photography and that you’re still trying to figure out how to take a nice photograph … it really seems to me that somewhere along the line YOU FIGURED IT OUT! All of these galleries are beautiful. Nice composition. Every shot has a really good feel to it. Really nice. What are you using for equipment? I’m ready to graduate to a DSLR … like the Nikon 300s but the DX format worrries me just a bit. Any recommendations?

    • 08/30/2012

      Thanks for your very kind comment — I really appreciate it ! I sent an email to you regarding my photo equipment and thoughts on DX vs FX. (I use both)

  6. 08/30/2012

    Great clarity and studied compositions. I like the limited colour range in many of these which no doubt comes from the location. You treat each image individually………..I like the mono photo which suits the strong forms of the subject……..and the cropping with its balancing of positive and negative spaces and tones is very sophisticated. Very Arty Mr Smith…….. 🙂

    • 08/30/2012

      John — Thank you so much for your impressive comments sir !
      Love your last statement: “Very Arty Mr Smith” — made my day 🙂
      Thanks again John….

  7. 09/1/2012

    What a cool spot – I like your perspective shots – so monumental. Very nice!

  8. 09/11/2012

    Good shots all, but the rusty doors wins, in my opinion.

  9. 09/22/2012

    What great shots. I love anything industrial.

  10. 10/2/2012

    Terrific photos that prove beauty is in the eye of the beholder… especially if the beholder has a photographer’s eye!

  11. 07/3/2013

    I loved the cars at the power plant. Reminded me of the Model T Ford that my grandfather used to drive. Can you imagine driving that down the streets of Chicago? It was a show stopper even in the 50’s.


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