Tempe Directory of Historic Buildings 

Tempe has more than 200 historic buildings. Enjoy this searchable directory of information and photos.  For more information on any of these properties or to learn how your property can be listed, please contact Tempe Historic Preservation Officer John_Southard@tempe.gov 

Many of the properties on the Tempe Historic Register, the National Register of Historic Places or the list of historic eligible properties are privately owned and not open to the public. Please respect the privacy of those who may be living in these houses. 

Historic Eligible is a formal classification of parcels which contain buildings, structures, or sites which meet the criteria for designation as a Tempe Historic Property, but which have not been formally designated as "Historic." 

How to Use This Directory

You may search this directory by the categories of Tempe Historic Register, National Historic Register and Historic Eligible Properties. Simply click the down arrow on the All Categories box below and select the one you would like to see. All the properties in that category will appear.  

Location:  Salt River Project Main Campus
Survey Number: HPS-183 
Year Built: 1914 
Architectural Style: Neo Classical 

The 1914 Neo-Classical style Salt River Project Cross Cut Power Plant is significant as the only hydroelectric structure remaining in the Salt River Valley and for its association with the historic electrification of the valley following construction of Roosevelt Dam. 

Built by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1914, initial construction was followed in 1938 with subsequent work. The Cross Cut Power Plant the largest low-head hydroelectric plant in the SRP system. From about 1915 to 1938, it represented a large percentage of the SRP generating capacity. The main use of electricity originally was to run water pumps, especially on the Western Canal. Two seven-foot penstocks took water from the Arizona Cross Cut Canal, and dropped it 112 feet through the Pelton water wheels, which turned Westinghouse generators, generating 11,000 volts. The plant eventually serviced some of Tempe, including the Hayden Flour Mill when it was converted from hydropower to electric power in the 1920s. 

The Power Plant is a rectangular (176 ft. by 42 ft.) cast-in-place concrete structure with a gable roof and ridge vents. The rectangular mass is divided into 12 bays (north to south) along the sides and three bays on the sides. The maximum height of the structure is 63 ft. with the main generator floor 22 feet above the tailrace (water exit) grade. The concrete work is detailed with simplified classical motifs, expressed below the frieze panels by a corbelled band course and pilaster capitols. The roof is supported by metal trusses. The windows (one per bay) are metal 4-over-4 light double-hung. The plant is entered from the north with a garage door access from the south. To the east is the switching and transformer building (which measures 89 ft. by 43 ft.) and a shop (16 ft. by 43 ft.). These buildings are of concrete with similar detailing and openings, but with a flat concrete roof. Some of the original equipment remains in the plant, but it is not used at this time. In 1938 a metal steam generating plant powered by diesel engines was constructed to the northwest. This large Moderne-like building is sheathed in corrugated metal with multi-pane steel-frame awning windows. This plant remains on stand by. 

Tempe History Museum Historic Property Survey: HPS-183

Historic American Engineering Record: HAER AZ-30 Cross Cut Hydro Plant, Tempe 


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