Bull Run Powerhouse Art Exhibit
Bull Run Powerhouse Exhibit is the third Industry & Art project developed through our partnership with Portland General Electric. Three historic Clackamas County hydropwer facilities have now been documented in art:
- T.W. Sullivan plant (still operating at Willamette Falls, since 1895)
- Hawley Pulp and Paper Company powerhouse (since demolished)
- Bull Run Powerhouse, in Sandy. For history on the sale of the powerhouse, go to http://www.sandypost.com/news/story.php?story_id=126516228922232600
For current status of the preservation of the powerhouse, go to www.savebullrun.org
Twenty one excited artists participated in the April 30/May 1 Bull Run plein air event to gather images and artistic impressions of the historic hyrdopower site. The Bull Run exhibit has now completed its April run at the WEST LINN PUBLIC LIBRARY GALLERY and will be on internal display at PGE's department of hydroengineering in late spring/early summer.
If you'd like to support this wonderful project, which straddles education, fine art and heritage/preservation, please donate now. We are searching for resources to pay for the production of a high-quality show catalog for the Bull Run Powerhouse collection to be placed in regional libraries and museums.
More than 3,000 visitors toured the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum during the three months our "ART CONTEMPLATES INDUSTRY: BULL RUN POWERHOUSE" was on display at the Village of Government Camp, Oregon. We thank Museum Director Lloyd Musser for hosting the exhibit and its October 3rd artists' reception. ARTISTS Bonnie Meltzer,Christopher Mooney,Dean Walch,Judith Davis,Kevin Farrell,Lawrence Johnson,Leslie Peterson,Lisa Wilcox,Mark Rupert,Mason Parker, Neal Philpott,Phil Juttelstad,Shannon Covington, Stephen Takacs, and Sue Allen mingled with visitors as a few snowflakes fell outside.
Thanks also to our sponsors for the Mt. Hood reception--the Portland Water Bureau and Sandy Chamber of Commerce. This project would not have been possible without the cooperation of Portland General Electric Company and its amazing staff. See all three of our powerhouse collections at artcontemplatesindustry.com. The exhibit was on display at the SANDY PUBLIC LIBRARY from JANUARY 5 to FEBRUARY 22.
In order to restore historic fish runs to the Sandy River and its upper tributaries, Portland General Electric recently decommissioned Bull Run Powerhouse, removed Marmot Dam, and drained Roslyn Lake, which had served as the man-made “forebay” for hydropower generation at Bull Run. Since the plant is no longer producing power, PGE has been working to sell the facility into new ownership that will include stewardship of the history of the property and the structures located there.
Click on image for more information.The 1912 concrete powerhouse at Bull Run was designed by the J.G. White Engineering Company. Stepping down to the river, it is built into the wall of the Bull Run River canyon. Multi-pane metal sash windows with decorative arched tops line the river and side elevations. A second row of small rectangular windows, also multi-pane metal sash, is located below the simple projecting cornice band. To the west, a matching ‘Transformer Building’ also dates from the original 1912 construction period and is of similar design and materials. A more modest concrete ‘machine shop,’ also apparently constructed during the initial period, is located next to the powerhouse itself.
~ George Kramer, PGE historian
Today the Bull Run Hydroelectric Project consists of a dispersed group of buildings, sites, and structures ranging in construction date from 1906-1913 through the late 1960s, including the main powerhouse, a transformer building and a machine shop.
As a creative means of documenting the site, PGE invited Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation to stage an art event there before the power plant changes ownership.