There’s a cleanup effort at the Auburn Electric & Water Works building, otherwise known as “The Powerplant” as Neil Colchin continues to lead an effort to rehab it into a motorcycle museum. Construction on the power plant began in 1933 and was complete in 1935 part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program. It began operation in 1936. The design is Colonial Revival Craftsman, and designed by renowned architect LeRoy Bradley of Fort Wayne, IN. Bradley was the chief draftsman for Griffith and Goodrich of Fort Wayne before forming his own firm, Bradley & Babcock, with Dan Babcock. Below are some photos taken today.
The city of Auburn is inviting proposals to save the endangered classic that is best known as the Wayne Street Electric Building. As any Auburnite knows, this building has been long vacated and is in rough shape. The Board of Public Works and Safety will present the request for proposals at their June 27th meeting, which is required by law before they can lease a property. Developers and interested individuals must have a business plan and time frame for completion to see it through as well as financial backing. Should no developers meet the requirements, the city is likely to demolish the once magnificent classic. As previously blogged, Neil Colchin appears is interested and continues to meet regularly to work out his plan to rehab it into a motorcycle museum.
Neil Colchin has a plan, a Facebook page and an aim to put a new kind of power into the long-vacated and oft-discussed old Auburn Electric & Water Works (Power Plant) on Wayne Street. Soon, perhaps passers-by will see new life emerge as the Auburn Power Plant Motorcycle Museum takes shape.
The Facebook page went live on March 21st and is quietly nearing 100 likes (as of this post) in addition to garnering many enthusiastic comments in support of the plans to restore the building to it’s potential and locate a motorcycle museum inside.
As stated on the page:
We would love to thank everyone for spreading the word! Hopefully you will hear big things happening to this building shortly, note, the building is going To remain mostly original. However, does anyone have any name recommendations?
Construction on the power plant began in 1933 and was complete in 1935. Operation began in 1936. This was apart of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program. The design is Colonial revival Craftsman, and the renowned architect was LeRoy Bradley of Fort Wayne, IN. The power plant was built strictly for utilitarian, but it’s architectural design design produced a building of extraordinary grace and beauty. ~ Neil
Adds DeKalb County Historian, John Bry: “It is also considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, and was given an “Outstanding” Rating in the Historic Architectural Inventory of DeKalb County completed by Indiana Landmarks several years ago.”
Much more about the project should surface in the coming days and weeks ahead IF it in fact happens. For now, let us celebrate opportunity for preservation of this wonderful classic. Thank you Neil, for helping us to reclaim this fallen classic.