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Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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An unknown worker's jumpsuit rests from some machinery in the breakroom of the power plant. It — among many other things — lends itself to an eerie, abandoned feeling, preserving what was once a workplace. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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Chairs are scattered and writing remains on the whiteboards of a meeting space. The inside of the power plant appears to be as it was the day operations ended in 2012. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

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Eugene's abandoned steam power plant. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

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From the top of the retired plant, the Willamette River can be seen. Inside lies a maze of abandoned equipment. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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A dead moth caught by webs dangles from the side of the abandoned machinery. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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Aged equipment from the retired plant stands unused and dormant offering an unexplainable museum of sorts. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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The inside of the power plant appears to be as it was the day operations ended in 2012. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

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Seven years of cobwebs and dust are accumulated inside the abandoned steam plant. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

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The waters of the riverfront can be seen through grimy, cracked windows. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

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The south facing window allows dreamy evening light into the abandoned plant. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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The grounds in front of the steam plant. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

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An old phone hangs off the hook on the bottom floor of the workspace, adding to a feeling that the last day at the plant was as sudden as just leaving work for the day. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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An emergency eye and face washing station sits unused and grimey on the bottom floor. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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A vine from the outside is seen slithering from a small hole in the wall and across the workshop. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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Afternoon light cascades through an upstairs office space. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

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Windows in one of the steam plant's rooms are blacked out. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

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Small sprouts stretch from the grates in the floor of the undisturbed workshop. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

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A chunk of ceiling that fell on a desk has grown vegetation over the nearly seven years that the steam plant has been closed. Eugene Water and Electric Board's retired steam plant is the future sight for a new development along the Willamette riverfront. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

MORE: Read the Emerald's article on repurposing the abandoned steam plant here

Follow Dana Sparks on Instagram: @danasparksphoto

Follow Sarah Northrop on Instagram: @sartakespics

Photo Editor

Sarah is the photo editor of the Daily Emerald. She is well-versed in photography, feature writing and all things visual tempo. Sarah shoots almost every type of subject and specializes in concert photography and photojournalism.

Photojournalist and Sex and Relationships columnist

Dana is a photojournalist specializing in long-format storytelling — particularly regarding gender and social justice topics. She is the Daily Emerald Sex and Relationships columnist. This is her third year at the Emerald.


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