The first stop on our Post World War II Architecture Tour on June 15 was the old Columbia Falls Aluminum Company plant. Though much of the plant has now been demolished, there is much to learn about industry in the region from this 1000 acre site.
With construction of Hungry Horse Dam underway in 1952, the Anaconda Copper Mining Company announced construction of an aluminum reduction plant in Columbia Falls. The plant began operation in August 1955. Anaconda Company architects and engineers designed the facility.
The lovely Hungry Horse reservoir.
Historian Charlene Roise has documented several dams in the Grand Coulee Dam system, including Hungry Horse Dam and Powerhouse. Before the Road Show group headed down to the Power facility, Ms. Roise gave some background history on the construction and engineering of the dam.
Visitors to the Dam can walk or drive right across the top of the dam wall and marvel at its sheer size.
Hungry Horse Dam was actually designed before World War II in the Streamlined Moderne style of architecture, which was popular in America through the 1940s. Styles had changed after the war, but the Bureau of Reclamation went ahead with the plans on hand.
The Road Show group visiting the dam were lucky to be able to walk out onto the Power Plant roof to gaze up at the 450-foot tall dam wall.