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Eugene holds open house for steam plant concept designs

The city is looking for feedback on the concept designs, wanting to get the community involved in what they hope will become a go-to destination in the future.

Posted: Feb 7, 2019 11:09 PM
Updated: Feb 7, 2019 11:27 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Community members met up at EWEB on Thursday evening to see new concept art for a potential redesign of the historic steam plant along the Willamette River.

Since a guided tour wasn't possible because of the upcoming sunset, community members were able to take a virtual tour of the new concept designs for the old steam plant.

Built in 1931, the steam plant operated along the Willamette until 2012 when it was shut down. Now, it's just an empty building.
However, a design team hired by the city hopes to bring this piece of Eugene history into the 21st century.

"Hopefully, when you come over the Ferry Street Bridge you're going to look to your left, a little upriver, and you're going to see a space that catches your eye," said Matt Sayre with Tech Association of Oregon. "That becomes that destination when your friends or family comes into town and you're like, I have to take you to the steam plant."

With those concepts for a cultural space, co-working shared office spaces and possibly even restaurant space, residents like Stephen Parac are excited about the possibilities.

"Being that high up, seeing the span of the sweeping river, I think that's going to be amazing," Parac said. "So, I don't know what they have envisioned for the rooftop space, but I'm excited to see that they have an idea incorporated into that."

The design team also mentioned they want to incorporate local art installations, which local art lovers like Koki Wilson said is enticing.

"I would foresee it to be a place where some of our modern designers, some of our modern artists, some of our innovative technology artists have permanent or temporary installations in the space," said Wilson.

If you weren't able to make it to the open house to offer your two cents on these concept plans, you can follow this link to take the online community survey.

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