Olympia Steam Heating Plant

Location: 113 Thurston St NE
mid-Century modern

No vintage photographs of this building have been scanned. If you have one to share, please contact us. Olympia Steam Plant building today (2013), photo by Deb Ross

In the heyday of industrial activity in the Port area, the Olympia Steam Heating Company took steam generated at the Washington Veneer Plant and transported it via underground pipes to downtown businesses for heating purposes. The Steam Plant building here, built in 1946, was the central distribution point. According to some sources, a “district heating system” such as that in place here in the 1950s is an extremely cost effective way to reduce our carbon footprint. This building is one of the few remaining in the port area that recall our industrial past (see also Olympia Sand and Gravel building and Georgia Pacific Building). The plant ceased operation around 1963. 

Additional resources:

Washington State Historical Society photographs (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box): C1986. (Olympian photograph, unscanned, of Steam Company’s underground piping in downtown Olympia)

Olympia Heritage inventory,

City of Olympia, mid-Century context statement





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