An insider’s look at the Post Street Sub   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Hydro power, Electricity, Video

The photos above are courtesy of Nicole Hensley and Blush Response Photography.
Post by Dan Kolbet

Earlier this winter when it was really, really cold outside, I took a tour of Avista’s Post Street Sub with local freelance photographer Nicole Hensley. Nicole was seeking an inside look at this historic building. Most people refer to it as the Washington Water Power building, because of the big green letters on the roof. We were taken on an insider’s tour by Avista Chief Operator Dave Brown.

Nicole got some great photos of the historic elements of the building and I encourage you to thumb through them above and visit her website. I grabbed some video as well, you can see that below. Post Street is still a working piece of Avista’s electrical grid, but most everything you’ll see in the images and video are no longer in service, but preserved for history’s sake.

Details on the Post Street Sub
Energy generated at Avista's Monroe Street and Upper Falls power plants is transmitted via large underground cables to the Post Street Substation, where it is distributed throughout the company's electrical system. Serving as the control center for Monroe Street and Upper Falls, this building houses personnel who oversee both plants.

Constructed in 1909, the Post Street Substation has also served as a warehouse and sheltered streetcars. Powered by electricity from Avista's hydroelectric facilities, streetcars were a popular form of Spokane-area transportation from the late 1800s until they were removed from service in 1936.

Designed by the famed architect Kirtland Cutter, this Romanesque brick structure with large, recessed arch windows is an excellent example of Spokane's early industrial architecture.

The four ornate iron domes, or cupolas, which once graced the corners of the substation roof, were donated to the U.S. government during the World War II scrap metal shortage. Post Street stands today as a prominent part of Avista's "living history."
Posted by  System Account  on  3/4/2011
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