Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Old Things {explained}

My parents' business used to be located in an old powerhouse and when we were young we'd go exploring in the dark and dingy (and ridiculously scary to a 10 yr old) rooms and walkways that were no longer in use or closed off. It might be one of the reasons I like old things now. The city decided to turn the building into a visitor's center and is now known as the Powerhouse Visitor's Center. I used to find the old pieces of ledger paper from the book keepers and the cast off ceramic power cones (I have no idea what they're really called) outside under the huge power towers that were no longer in use.

{picture via}

{this is how it currently looks after it's been renovated as a visitor's center - oddly, I've never been inside}

There were stairs up to a second floor in the warehouse that we used to be careful climbing - they were VERY rickety. Once on the second floor, though, you could walk a few steps and on the right there was a HUGE open room with wood floorboards and tall tall windows. Many of the floorboards shifted when you stepped on them and a few of the panes in the windows were broken out. Everything was covered in at least 15 years of dust.

{picture via}
In another area there was a back hallway. It reminded me of the Tar Pit from The Land Before Time (they were in the building for the first movie, long before the 7th). On one side of the 'walkway' there was a pool. But the 'pool' was filled with gunk. I don't know if it was actually tar or if it was just disgustingly muddy/sooty/think-of-something-dirty water, but we could poke sticks in it and they'd stand up. That kind of dirt. I might be remembering this incorrectly, but I think on the other side of that same area was another pool. I can't remember what was in it, though.

One of the funniest things I remember from being down at the 'shop' was the pigeon issue. There were SO many pigeons in the rafters. No wonder it was so scary! My mom and dad and their yard manager would sometimes shoot bb guns toward the ceiling to get the pigeons to fly out of there.

That building {from my memories of it back them} would have made one AWESOME renovated house. Sure, tens of thousands of dollars and tons of work - to fill in the Tar Pit - would be necessary, but remembering the huge second floor room and the old original creaky floor...I love that stuff. It has history.
It probably founded my love of old.

*I read up on it a little and it was built in 1907. Once the Hoover Dam was finished in the late 1930s it was no longer necessary to run the Kingman Powerhouse, although for a few years after it was kept going as a substation. Soon the technology of power passed by the power station capabilities, thus rendering it more costly to run. So from the 1950s until the 1990s it was leased to various people and businesses. A group of concerned citizens spearheaded the renovations into what is now a visitor's center and Route 66 museum. Interesting, no?


Miss-tearious said...

I have great/scary memories of the Powerhouse too. Do you remember when Uncle Tom took us exploring that one time in the really scary part?

I've been in it since it's been fixed up. It was actually pretty lame. Lots of the cool places we used to explore had been cemented off or behind closed doors.

Do you remember when we used to play on the train tracks (ok, that sounds super bad)? Smashing pennies/coins and looking for the marbles they used to use?

I would love to go back in time and play in there again. So many memories! I love old stuff too... And I've always thought it'd be cool to live in an old warehouse too! Maybe it's just a family thing.

Micah and Melinda said...

I loved playing there with you guys! That place wa insane for hide and seek!