See the latest look of the future Powell Avenue Steam Plant in Birmingham

See the latest look of the future Powell Avenue Steam Plant in Birmingham
Initial concepts envision what Powell Avenue Steam Plant can become. (Birchfield Penuel & Associates)

Birmingham’s Design Review Committee gave approval today to some exterior-related plans for the Powell Avenue Steam Plant as work proceeds to transform the historic industrial building into a functional, mixed-use facility and attraction in the heart of the city.

“We appreciate the Design Review Committee’s consideration as we work toward making the Powell Avenue Steam Plant a vibrant part of the Parkside district,” said Matt Gurley, who is coordinating construction of the project for Alabama Power.

“We view this as an important economic development project, for Birmingham and the region,” Gurley added. “We want the project to be a catalyst for even more economic growth and development in the city.”

The committee reviewed exterior plans for the building, including window treatments, skylights, and sight and roof lines. Although specific plans for the building aren’t complete, the company is considering a number of ideas for the project, including a restaurant and possibly a cultural and event space.

The Birmingham architectural firm of Birchfield Penuel & Associates is leading the design team for the steam plant. Birmingham-based Hoar Construction is the general contractor.

While some work has been completed on the steam plant’s exterior, including restoring the building’s chimneys and brickwork, the brunt of the ongoing construction is taking place inside. Industrial equipment has been removed and floors leveled, and now a steel superstructure is rising inside that will allow for a second floor in part of the building – possibly for office or retail space.

“We’re still determining the best use, in light of all the development taking place around the steam plant,” Gurley said. “We are trying to maintain flexibility, while moving forward on the project,” he said.

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