Place-Based Poems and the Georgetown Steam Plant - Atlas Obscura
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Place-Based Poems and the Georgetown Steam Plant

Enjoy poetry celebrating Washington state at a historic landmark building.

Join Seattle Obscura Society and Chapter Head Shin Yu Pai for a poetry reading with contributors to the WA 129 poetry  anthology hosted at the historic Georgetown Steam Plant.

WA 129 is an anthology of poems gathered from the people of Washington State, collected and curated by State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall. Readers for this event include Elizabeth Austen, Kevin Craft, Arlene Naganawa, and Carl Palmer.

The Georgetown Steam Plant, a National Historic Landmark, stands today as a reminder of the era of electrification of America's cities and a time when industry was first attracted to Seattle by its inexpensive hydroelectric power and electric trolley car system. The plant provides a great current and historical vista and can still be seen from the core of Georgetown along 13th Avenue South. Built in 1906-1907 by the Seattle Electric Company on 18 acres of land along the Duwamish River, the plant was once at the center of the bustling residential and industrial activity in the rapidly growing Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.


Directions to the steam plant can be found here. Do not use GPS or GoogleMaps, as you will get lost.

There is no seating inside the steam plant. Please bring blankets or cushions or be prepared to stand. Collapsible chairs are permitted.

Limited parking available on-site. Carpools and public transportation are encouraged. If on-site parking is full, visitors may be requested to find parking off-site, including local neighborhood streets. Seattle City Light assumes no responsibility for personal vehicles parked on- or off-site.

All visitors must stay in designated areas and not go beyond safety barriers or touch any of the equipment. Anyone not complying with these policies will be asked to leave the premises.

Camera tripods are permitted, though we ask for you to be courteous of other visitors in the plant. Tripods are not allowed on the second-floor catwalk. Steam plant staff have the discretion to ask you to move a tripod if it appears to be a hazard or is impeding the experience of other visitors. Camera flash is permitted inside the building.

Bags, backpacks, purses, and packages larger than 11” x 17” x 8” are not allowed inside the Steam Plant. Hazardous materials (e.g. pepper spray) and weapons of any kind are prohibited.

The only access to the second floor of the Steam Plant is via a steep flight of stairs. If you would like to request special assistance, please speak with a Steam Plant staff person

Seattle City Light provides an ADA-accessible portable toilet (aka, Honey Bucket) on the grounds. There is no plumbed restroom inside the building.

This event takes place on the same day as the steam plant's monthly open house. From 1-2 pm, a free public tour of the steam plant will be offered by a steam plant volunteer.