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Steam Plant Proposal Goes To Eugene City Council This Week

A steam plant, built in 1939, that’s been sitting idle for years would become a gathering place along the Willamette River under a proposal before the Eugene City Council this week.

This old industrial building inhabits prime riverfront property and has a great view of the Willamette.

“I think one of the things I first noticed when I came into this space for the first time was the quality of the light.”

Credit Steam Plant Redesign Proposal
Artist rendering of what the outside of the steam plant would look like with the re-design.

Mark Frohnmayer, owner of Arcimoto in Eugene, is part of a team seeking to transform the steam plant.

“The most important feature to me are these giant windows that overlook the river and they’re open to light on both sides and it has this vaulted ceiling, very cathedral-like feel.”

Towering above us is the giant boiler that used to produce steam-heat for downtown Eugene buildings. The proposal would keep the historic structures while building an interior space that would include restaurants, arts venues and offices.

Credit Steam Plant Redesign Proposal
Artist rendering of a performance space within the Steam Plant.

The team will present their vision to the City Council Wednesday. If approved, the plan is to have the first phase of the $26 million project done in time for the 2021 World Track & Field Championships.   


Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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