Sunday, November 29, 2015

More Oshkosh Buildings, Part Eight

On June 6, 1902 the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern reported under the head line “New Power House”, the intention of the Oshkosh Electric Light and Power Company to build a new power plant. The report stated B.E. Sunney of the General Electric Company was in town and with member of the Oshkosh electric company were going over rough sketches of the new building, as prepared by architect William Waters.  The meeting was to make suggestion and changes before the plans for the new fireproof brick plant were drafted.  Notice of the letting of bids for contracts was published in mid-July of that year and by October came the announcement that Meyer, Domke and J. T. Raycraft had been awarded the contracts for the building’s construction.  The new plant was to be located on Marion Street on the site of the old plant, adjacent to the Cook and Brown brick yard.  A brisk construction schedule was planned with occupancy to occur by January 15, 1903. There were to be two parts to the building, the main building measuring 133’ x 79’ and 18’ at the eaves was to house the office, bath and toilet rooms, shop and dynamo room.  There were tile floors and a steep angle state roof.  The boiler room was located in a portion 72’ x 45’ with the ceiling 36’ above the floor.  Eight foot high arched topped window on all sides of the building allowed for much natural light and the front entrance was like that of the Winnebago Traction company’s car barn and power house.    
The electric power company was formed in 1884 with exclusive rights to electrically light the city streets.  A power house was built in 1885 and by 1902 needed to be upgraded, the fact that the company had gone into receivership in the autumn of 1901 seemed to make no difference.  In 1904 a Boston man named W. H. Whitney foreclosed on the business and continued to operate it, merging with Oshkosh Gas Light in 1907.  Cook and Brown Lime Company bought the building in 1920 and used it for a number of proposes including a showroom for a large kitchen appliances.  The building was razed in the late 1960’s to make way for the construction of Park Plaza, a shopping mall.   

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