Stabilizing the Stacks - Old Mill B Powerhouse - Bend Oregon

in Architecture+Design2 years ago

On a recent morning walk around the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon I took the opportunity to take some photos of the iconic triple smoke stacks that tower over the area. The stacks can be seen from most areas in the city of Bend. Follow along as I provide some history and photography of the stacks.

Click images for larger view

The sun rise over the old mill B powerhouse.


As the name implies, Old Mill District is an area along the Deschutes river that was once home to two competing logging companies. Shevlin-Hixson on the west bank and Brooks-Scanlon on the east bank where these towers reside. They both were founded around 1916 and the Mill B powerhouse and stacks featured here were constructed around 1922. The area has since been renovated and now is home to retail space, movie theaters, music, dining and recreation.

Two of the stacks were erected during the original construction in 1922. The third stack was raised in 1933 and is 201 feet tall from the ground as opposed to the 206 feet for the original two stacks. I believe the stack on the far right of these shots is the third stack. It has a slightly different design with four rings at different heights along the stack. It also appears to be a bit shorter as seen in the sun rise image above.

Click images for larger view

Some more views of the guy wires and one of the stanchions that help stabilize the stacks. Depending on your perspective there can be either order or chaos in the organization of the wires, or in some cases both. 😀

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The picture on the left, taken in the 50's, seems to show guy wires attached to the stacks so I would tend to think they have always been part of the design for the structures. However, the undated shot on the right prior to renovation doesn't seem to show any wires to the stacks. Granted the quality of the shot may make it hard to see them but there does appear to be telephone lines visible in the foreground. It is possible that we are lucky these icons from the past are still standing at all. 😀

One of the four stanchions with wires attached. Also a plaque commemorating Bend's sister city Bellundo, Italy.

The guy wires heading to the stacks from the stanchion. Three different heights per stack...

with 9 connections to a ring in each of the 4 stanchions.

Finally a shot of the stacks showing all 36 guy wires and their route to each of the four stanchions.

Overall I think this was a great re-purposing of the area and the willingness to keep some of the old mixed in with the new was a complete success.

Please feel free to make comments or ask me any questions about this post.

Photos taken by me, @oldmans, with a Nikon D3300 (except where noted) and some Lightroom post processing.
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Hello, @oldmans. The 3 towering stacks may simply be smoke outlets for an industrial building however, I truly admire their immense verticality, being imposing structures that seem to appear like the guardians of the neighborhood. They also serve as a clever design statement from an architectural perspective. Amazing! 😊

Yeah, it was great they could salvage these relics from the old powerhouse. The powerhouse building itself was repurposed into an REI store.😀

Oh cool, it goes to show how architecture can possibly evolve into other interesting forms and functions. Just takes some creativity to achieve it. Cheers! 😊

Orderly chaos :)

Why didn't they make the third stack as tall as the first two?

And #chemtrails galore to add to the scene.

@tipu curate

Why didn't they make the third stack as tall as the first two?

I'm thinking since the third one was built 11 years after the first two it was probably a different contractor or design, but I'm really not sure.

And #chemtrails galore to add to the scene.

I think we may live below a way point for jets out of Portland and Seattle. I've seen curved trails overhead which is kind of different. This pic below was from Thanksgiving 2018. Tic-tac-toe anyone? 😉


Jeez, this is terrifying :)

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