The old Arkansas Power and Light Company generating plant in my home town is not for long. The yellow Caterpillar will win. These are the last shots of this structure.
The old building was hatched-up, built, equipped, occupied and put into use for a very specific purpose: to generate electricity for the good folks in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in the first quarter of the 20th century. Evidence supports the theory that it did just that and did it well for a long time, but at some time, it stopped.
Click the pic to see more of the old power plant.
I’m not certain when the last person left the building and turned off the lights, but I do know why. Someone found a better and more efficient way to send electricity to the folks in Pine Bluff — and it was lights out for the old plant operationally. Now it is lights out for good.
And after all, if your lights come on and your fan blows, knowing the source of the juice that does the trick really does not pique one’s curiosity.
Speaking of curiosity, you can learn more about the how and why of this shoot and see three more pictures on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com. We’ll wait here while you look.
During the shoot, a train came through and who among us does not like to take pictures of trains. Certainly not me.
I had procrastinated on getting these images for decades, after all, where are two giant smoke stacks and an old power plant going to go? As I pointed out on our Corndancer story this week, some mysterious urge sent me to the old power plant in April where I got the first shots in morning light. When I came back for my afternoon shots just over a month later, the Caterpillar had started its grisly task.
I shot this in the crappy light available on April 13. As you can see, the building is unscathed. But not for long.
The west end of the building was formerly here. Now twisted structural members are all that is left.
The old structure is full of the old architectural details (temporarily), admired by many, including yours truly.
From the looks of things, in the custom of the time, the structural steel elements were riveted together. Now that the walls have come tumblin’ down, we see evidence of some field expedient engineering when something was added later. Look at the old square nuts.
And last but certainly not least, for those of you who have always wondered what it looks like inside a big ol’ smoke stack, through the magic of digital presentation, we are making the revelation here and know. You saw it here first!
Looking inside the west smoke stack. It appears to be three end-to-end bricks thick encapsulated in a thick application of concrete. In “Southern engineering” terminology, that sucka’ is some kinda’ stout.
Not questioning providential prodding, I am grateful to the Higher Power that sent me to the old building before it was too late. To tell the truth, there was some previous prodding, but in my human frailness, I resisted. Have I learned my lesson? We’ll see.
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.
Filed under: Behind the Scenes, but wait, there's more | Tagged: building demolition, building demolition rubble, curved door way in building being demolished, Looking inside a smoke stack, old AP&L power plant, old Arkansas Power and Light Company power plant, old power generation plant, old power plant being demolished, pcitures of tall smoke stacks, picture of inside a smoke stack, structural steel riveted together, Tall smoke stacks, train in from of building being demolished | Leave a Comment »