Expansion to Hydroelectric
Devereux's dreams for Glenwood Springs' growth were so successful that the demands for his electrical power grew quickly. The years 1887 and 1888 saw the design and construction of the current building, the Glenwood Springs Hydroelectrical Plant.
Devereux contracted for the building design with Viennese architect Theodore von Rosenberg, who had also designed the original Hot Springs' structures. The Hydroelectric Plant eventually housed five water-powered turbines and a back-up coal-fired steam generator.
By 1896, the Hydroelectric Plant was supplying 1750 incandescent lamps throughout the town. In 1897, electricity was lighting the newly opened Fairy Caves, just northwest of the town.
Between 1912 and 1919, the small concrete structure north of the main building was constructed for use as a transformer house for the plant's alternating current system.
Along with additional funds from the City of Glenwood Springs and the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, the restoration was completed in 2004.
Today, the Glenwood Springs Hydroelectric Plant continues to illuminate the community as an important historical landmark.
How the System Worked
Electricity is created when the fast-moving water turns
the Pelton wheels. This action is similar to how running water would turn a simple water wheel. The movement of the Pelton wheels turned a belt which in turn powered the generators. This produced electricity which was distributed to the city via power lines.
For the street lights, it was necessary to convert the "DC" (direct current) generated power to a usable voltage. The voltage was "transformed" at the transformer building which is located behind the Hydroelectric Plant.