Georgetown Steam Plant

The Georgetown Steam Plant is a National Historic Landmark—a reminder of the era of electrification when industry was first attracted to Seattle by its inexpensive hydroelectric power and electric trolley car system. It is also a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, a Seattle Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Once at the center of the rapidly growing Georgetown neighborhood, the Georgetown Steam Plant was built by the Seattle Electric Company in 1906-1907 on 18 acres of land along the Duwamish River. The plant's two vertical Curtis Turbines helped establish the steam turbine as capable of producing large amounts of power more cheaply and efficiently than other generators at the time.

Today, tours and open houses are available at no charge for anyone wanting to learn more about Seattle's energy history. You can also take a 360-degree virtual tour of the Georgetown Steam Plant by clicking the button below. This virtual tour is presented by Seattle City Light in partnership with the Georgetown Steam Plant Community Development Authority.

Take a Virtual Tour

Please note:

The Georgetown Steam Plant is currently closed to the public to accommodate the installation of a new roof. Please watch this space for further updates and we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the plant soon.

We offer public open houses on the second Saturday of every month at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, with free guided tours at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

  • Admission is free
  • No reservations required (for groups of 15 or more or to schedule a private tour for your group, please call (206) 763-2542)
  • Parking is limited on-site
  • Bags, backpacks, purses, and packages larger than 11"x17"x8" are not allowed inside
  • The only access to the 2nd floor of the Steam Plant is via a steep flight of stairs (to request special assistance, please speak to one of our staff)
  • There are no indoor restroom facilities at the Plant, but an ADA-accessible Honey Bucket is available on the grounds of the facility

The Georgetown Steam Plant is located at 6605 13th Ave. South, Seattle—adjacent to Boeing Field/King County International Airport. Directions driving south on Interstate 5:

  1. Take Exit 161, Albro Place. Turn right onto S Albro Pl
  2. S Albro Pl turns into Ellis Ave S
  3. Turn left onto S Warsaw St

Note: We recommend not using Google Maps or GPS as they are not accurate for this location.

To enhance your visit - or if you can't join us in person - get an inside view of the history and engineering of the Georgetown Steam Plant:

Reservations are not required. If you need to make special arrangements for large groups or would like to receive updates for special events, contact us at (206) 763-2542 or email scl_georgetownsteamplant@seattle.gov.

Georgetown Steam Plant Video Series

Can't visit the Georgetown Steam Plant in person? Do you have lingering questions or want to explore at your own pace? Welcome to a series of videos made to serve as a virtual tour of this iconic National Historic Landmark in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood. Nothing can replace experiencing the steam plant in person, but we hope you enjoy the information presented and make plans to visit during one of our open houses as soon as we can open to the public again.

Seattle City Light thanks filmmakers Angela Bernardoni and Derek Johnson for their special dedication to this project and also to the wonderful volunteer docents for generously sharing their knowledge and time.

This video series is made possible through donations given by visitors of the Georgetown Steam Plant.

View the series from the beginning in the video player below, or click on a thumbnail to jump to a specific video.

Screenshot from videoIntroduction
Meet Seattle City Light’s Chief Environmental Officer, Tom DeBoer, as he introduces the Georgetown Steam Plant and highlights its historical significance.


Screenshot from videoHistory Highlights
Join regular tour guide and City Light Sr. Resource Planner Mike Aronowitz for an interesting overview usually provided at the beginning of every tour, including history of a fast-growing Seattle in the early 20th century, the innovative architecture and construction of the building, and the role its builder and designer played as a pioneer of time and motion studies in America.


Screenshot from videoThe Boiler Room
Normally the last stop of our in-person tours, this video puts you in the heart of the action, the Boiler Room, located upstairs and across a cat walk inside the steam plant. Volunteer docent Mike F. explains the many interacting components and the fuel systems that fired the plant to create energy.


Screenshot from videoThe Engine Room
Set against a bank of west facing windows, two monuments to innovation loom large; these are two of the only Curtis Vertical Steam Turbines left in place in the world. Join electrical engineer and volunteer docent Kelsey W. to learn more about the context in which they were created, how they work, and other special features of the engine room.


Screenshot from videoUnit #3, Horizontal Turbine
Learn how technological innovation weaves and advances throughout the steam plant and over the years with this informative presentation by volunteer docent Greg A., who shares his passion for the engineering involved via the final turbine installed in the plant in 1917.


Screenshot from videoA Brief History of Electricity
Electrical engineer and volunteer docent Kelsey W. illuminates the history of how electricity spread across the nation in the 1800s, the people leading the innovations making it possible, and the emergence of hydropower.


Screenshot from videoConclusion
Seattle City Light employees Mike Aronowitz and Julianna Ross share progress made through City Light’s stewardship of the steam plant and offer a glimpse of great things to come in partnership with a special new non-profit, the Georgetown Steam Plant Community Development Authority.