Whether you call it the NPPD building, the power building or something else, the Western Public Service building is a prominent fixture in downtown Scottsbluff. According to the National Park Services, the building was designed by Scottsbluff architect Everett L. Goldsmith and built from 1930 to 1931.
Located at 1721 Broadway, the Powerhouse building is among one of the oldest buildings in downtown Scottsbluff.
The four-story building represents a distinct moment in history. It was made in the Art Deco style, with decorative terracotta facades and reeded pilasters. A bas-relief floral and sunrise crown lies at the top of the building.
According to a description on the National Parks Service website, “The ornamental doorway entrance, decorated with stylized floral and geometric patterns in cream-colored terracotta, and the scalloped features under the window, are also noteworthy embellishments. The intact interior spaces lend to the attractiveness of the building as well.”
The construction crew was large, consisting of 40 men for masonry work, 20 men for concrete work, 25 carpenters, 16 plasterers and seven painters. Another 15 workers were listed as miscellaneous, with a total of 169 workers helping construct the building. In construction, 15 miles of electrical wiring and 95 tons of reinforcing steel was use. More than 600 yards of linoleum and 160,000 bricks were also required for the project.
“The building featured walnut and birch finish panels, ornamental stucco and Venetian blinds and French telephones throughout the building.”
At the time of its opening, the building was considered the jewel of the Scottsbluff downtown district, being located across the street from the Methodist hospital, down the street from the Lincoln Hotel, and just a few doors down from the Egyptian theater.
On March 30, 1931, the Western Public Service Company building opened at 1721 Broadway. The company was eventually sold to Consumers Public Power District in 1942, which merged with Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). After NPPD moved in March 2003, Frank Enterprises of Scottsbluff purchased the building.
In December of 2021, the current owners purchased the building and began renovations for what is now Powerhouse on Broadway Suites & Social.