Historic Steam Plant Could Become STEAM-focused Museum, Cultural Center

SEATTLE – Seattle City Light is searching for a nonprofit organization to operate a self-sustaining center for STEAM education – science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – and expand public tours at the historic Georgetown Steam Plant.

“The Georgetown Steam Plant fascinates visitors during monthly open houses, and we see the potential for a much more active use as a museum and cultural center that can inspire and educate people of all ages,” Interim General Manager and CEO Jim Baggs said.

City Light owns the plant, which opened in 1907 to provide power for Seattle’s electric street car system and the Seattle-Tacoma Interurban Railway. It’s builder, Frank Gilbreth, was a great innovator and pioneer in scientific management, motion studies, ergonomics and modern construction. It houses the only two Curtis vertical turbine generators left in place in the world. The plant is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a designated National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, a National Historic Landmark and a Seattle Landmark.

More than 7,000 guests have visited the historic building since City Light began opening it to the public once a month in 2014.

City Light released a request for proposals today, seeking interested nonprofit organizations. Under the proposal, City Light would maintain ownership of the steam plant and provide maintenance of the building. The nonprofit partner would take over daily operations of the building, including tours, events and a museum/cultural center focused on STEAM education.

For more information on submitting a proposal, visit http://www.seattle.gov/light/georgetownsteamplant/request-for-proposal.asp

Statements of interest and qualifications are due by July 3 with a partner selection expected by the end of the year.


Scott Thomsen