Monday, June 17, 2013

Spokane's Historic Steam Plant

Another great place to see in Spokane (and bring out-of-towners) is Spokane's historic steam plant. It originally heated the city. It's now a restaurant with offices in the upper levels, but the great thing is that during renovations, they kept a lot of the old features of the original steam plant.  This place is amazing on the inside.

I have some photos below, but they just don't do justice.  

 People are welcome to stop in just to have a look around this historic gem without ordering, stay for dinner, or just have drinks.  The restaurant was called "The Steam Plant Grill", but has recently changed to "Stacks."   The menu reflects what looks like some amazing and high end dishes; I hate to report, the cook often falls short, which is a huge bummer.  This place should have the best chef in the city.  Our family still likes to dine there on occasion though.  You can't beat the ambiance, they have a great cesar salad, and a cheese bread to die for on the appetizer menu.  We've learned if we stick with those dishes, we won't be disappointed.Large parties can reserve special secluded seating in one of two original boilers or a larger section near the stacks.

This is an excerpt from one of the websites on it's history:
In 1915, twenty-five years after the Seehorn-Lang building's completion, the Merchants Central Heating Company began to build the Central Steam Plant. In 1916, the steam plant was sold to Spokane, Heat, Light and Power Company. Almost immediately, however, the company suffered large operating losses and was placed in receivership within 2 years. 
In April, 1919, Washington Water Power (WWP) purchased the steam plant, from receivership, to produce steam heat and electrical power. Soon thereafter WWP formed Spokane Central Heating Company. Spokane Central Heating Company operated it independently until 1939 when it became part of the WWP Spokane Division. WWP is now recognized as Avista Corp. 
The steam heat produced from the plant served downtown Spokane until 1986. During its operation, fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas and saw dust were used to produce from 150,000 to 370,000 pounds of steam per hour. In 1986, it was determined that the plant was no longer economically viable, for much of the internal piping needed substantial repair or replacement.
This is the left side of the dinning area, although I've never seen these tables used. The bar and more seating are downstairs, office spaces are upstairs. The big circle hole in the center looks into one of the original boilers, which has now been turned into a private party dinning area.

This is a peak into that old boiler shown above.

Another peak inside the same boiler, from another angle.

This is part of their main seating area.

This is a wishing well, near another main seating area.

This hangs above part of the dinning area.  I believe it originally held the coal, but has now been transformed into a nice looking break room on the inside for the upper level offices.  If you go upstairs to look around, you can see in through a window.   It has a kitchen area and a pool table inside.

This is the second boiler for private parties.

An inside shot of the second boiler.

Guests are welcome into one of the stacks.  

Stop in and see this place, you'll be glad you did.

159 S Lincoln St, Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 777-3900

1. Lots of street parking.
2. There is a small garage on the south side of the building, just off the alley for steam plant visitors.  It's free of charge.  This is not a good place for big or wide vehicles.
3.  There is a large pay parking lot on the north side of the building, just on the other side of the train tracks.  Google maps says the address is 144 South Lincoln St., Spokane, Washington.  This may not be the actual address, but if you look it up on google, you'll know what to look for.
4. There is a second large pay parking lot.  Google maps says the address is 138 S. Monroe st, Spokane, WA 99201.  Both lots are convenient and within walking distance.

No comments: