Date Established: The power plant delivered power beginning in 1888
Current use/ownership of building: Blackhills Energy
Past use of building: The structure anchors the northwestern end of the Historic Arkansas River Project (HARP) and is adjacent to the Union Avenue Historic District. Electricity first came to Pueblo, Colorado in 1888, just nine years after Thomas Edison produced the first electric lamp. 105 S Victoria Street was the site of the first steam driven generator, which brought electricity to the city. This was built and operated by Pueblo Light, Heat, & Power Company. An immediate beneficiary of electricity was the Pueblo City Railway Company, formed in 1889. Pueblo has the distinction of becoming one of the first cities to have electric powered street cars. Power requirements increased and resulted in mergers by 1911 of power companies in Pueblo, Cañon City, Rocky Ford, Cripple Creek and Victor. Those municipalities formed Arkansas Valley Railway, Light, & Power Company. Additional mergers with power firms in Florence and Custer County formed the Southern Colorado Power Company in 1923. Of all of the old power plants consolidated into the system, all have been demolished except for Skaguay in Victor, CO, and Pueblo.
Significant damages, restorations, etc: Construction of phase 1 was completed in 1922 and the 7500KW generator was brought online. This helped to power development in the city and region including mining of the Cripple Creek District. Increased need of power, especially from large consumers like the Pueblo Army Depot, required the second phase expansion to the east side of the power house with the addition of a 7500KW steam powered turbine. This increased the Power Company's total output to 34,000KW. Increased post war power demands from factories, industries and homes in Pueblo and Freemont Counties required construction of the third phase expansion to the west end of the building. A 15,000KW combination steam and fuel oil turbine driven generator was installed and constructed in 1949.
Annual events/functions (link to community events):
Fun fact:The plant underwent a series of expansions in generating electricity to keep up with power demands due the expansion of housing, commerce, manufacturing, steel production at Colorado Fuel & Iron Works, and mining. It remained operational until its recent decommissioning in 2012.
Community Impact: One of Pueblo’s most prominent skyline features is the Power Plant’s steel smokestack rising to a height of more than 270' and masonry smokestack rising 160'. In the context of the city’s surrounding landscape, the Power Plant is historically significant for its role in the evolution of the power industry in Southern Colorado.