AUSTIN, Minn. – An Austin landmark will live on through a remembrance wall in the YMCA at the Austin Community Recreation Center.
The wall commemorates the Downtown Power Plant, which was built in 1888 and finally demolished in 2018 to make way for the new recreation center.
“We had made the move into a new central facility that combined seven buildings at three locations into one,” says Austin Utilities General Manager Mark Nibaur. “When we were approached to offer the power plant location for a community recreation center it was a perfect fit for the property.”
The remembrance wall includes a collage of photos of the power plant and the following statement reflecting on the public use of the property:
“In 1887 this ground was broken to raise a building that would provide public power and water to the community of Austin until 2013. The Austin Municipal Plant was removed in 2016. The 2020 opening of the Austin Community Recreation Center continues the tradition of public service on this ground.”
In a private ceremony Wednesday, Austin Utilities paid a $157,000 rebate to the YMCA at the Austin Community Recreation Center for energy efficient lighting and equipment installed in the construction of the new recreation center building.