Have you ever wondered about those two tall smokestacks at the corner of Woodall Rodgers and Stemmons Freeway? Well, it’s the Old Dallas Plant, which has been making electricity to keep the city cool for ninety-five years. The plant was built in 1892, only ten years after the world’s first commercial generating plant was built in London, and provided the only electricity for Dallas until 1938 when the generators on Mountain Creek Lake were built. The plant was expanded in the Twenties, when the two tall stacks were built, and had nine generators turning in its heyday. Two of the turbines are still in use, but only on those hot summer evenings when every air conditioner in town is cranked to maximum cool. When steam is billowing from the cooling towers south of the old building, you know that Dallas is a city at war with the heat.


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