For 70 years, a smokestack that towered over the middle of Purdue University’s campus was the iconic figure that signaled “home” to Boilermakers.
The smokestack, built atop a heating and power plant, marked the center of campus from 1924 to 1992, when it was demolished after the university retired the power plant.
The building that once powered Purdue and served as a real-world learning lab for engineering students sat vacant and largely forgotten until 2014, when it was demolished.
The iconic building and smokestack is getting a second life, however, in the new Wilmeth Active Learning Center that sits on the power plant’s former site.
A massive black and white aerial photo of Purdue’s campus in 1934, with the smokestack pointing high above any other building, welcomes visitors to the center. To the left is a turbine recovered from the plant, on display next to an antique photo of workers, engineering students and a professor inspecting machinery.
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