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American Wind Power Center, Lubbock

(130+ reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum
The American Wind Power Center is a museum of wind power in Lubbock, Texas. Located on 28acre of city park land east of downtown Lubbock, the museum has more than 160 American style windmills on exhibition.HistoryThe center was established in 1993 by Miss Billie Wolfe and Coy F. Harris. Wolfe, a faculty member at Texas Tech University, began searching for windmills in the early 1960s. She photographed and documented windmills across the nation and encouraged people to save what windmills were still standing. Thirty years later, there had been several individuals who had restored a number of early mills and Wolfe located one of these in Mitchell, Nebraska. By this time, Harris was working with Wolfe and he arranged, disassembled and moved this collection of forty-eight rare windmills to Lubbock.These windmills remained in storage until 1997, when the City of Lubbock authorized an area of land for the museum. Harris and volunteers moved the collection to this new site. Windmills were erected on the grounds and inside a modest exhibit building.In 1999, a much larger building became available, and Harris directed the movement of this building to the park site. He redesigned part of the "metal fabrication building" to better fit the windmills.PresentlyAt the present time, there are more than a hundred rare and historic water pumping windmills displayed inside. Another sixty windmills are erected on the grounds with many pumping water.Complementing the water pumping windmills are wind electric machines. Some of these date to the early 1920s. Dominating the windmill grounds is a Vestas V47 wind turbine. This 660 kW turbine stands on a 50-meter tower and provides (on a yearly average) all of the power required by the museum facility. Excess energy is sold to the local power grid.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Fascinating experience! Take the time to be amazed. Learning about the wind power that helped settle the prairie to the sustained energy producer we see all around us today. This museum is both nostal...  more »
  • Not only do they have a beautiful collection of windmills, but they also have a wing of dollhouses built by Alta Reeds!!! So extremely detailed and beautiful, I couldn't believe my eyes!!!  more »
  • Lots and lots of different types of windmills on display. There is a huge train track inside also to see with many trains. Think this is the largest windmill display in the world.  more »
Google
  • When I went they were grand opening their new "Wind Energy Experience" exhibit which explains blade pitching and shows the relationship between wind energy and trains. No doubt the model trains were one of the most popular parts of the new exhibit. They have over 100 wind mills inside and many more outside (including a modern day working wind turbine that powers their facility). There is an event room with a mural of the history of wind energy surrounding it. It's an interesting experience, but I do wish they had more interactive exhibits. Plus on the outside parts of the walkway are completely covered by weeds.
  • Seeing the history of windmills is very interesting. There are all different kinds, and they even have a new train exhibit with model trains and the largest spiral helix train track in the country.
  • This place is AMAZING! If you love windmills and history of the area this is the place for you to visit.
  • I spotted this from the road, its a great museum with a lot of exhibits and its is a great history lesson on windmills, they even have a British one which as a Brit made me smile, the staff are super helpful and know there stuff, if you have time to kill (as i did) stop by and make sure you see the painting.
  • I drove across the state of TX this past weekend to visit mother-in-law in Lubbock hospital. TX must surely be one of the largest producers of wind energy. I noticed several new sites, included transmission lines, and am encouraged that this 'oil' state may broaden their natural resource view. Clearly with the drought this state is so obvioulsy facing, reservoirs depleted at record levels, alternative choices as well as conservation call out for common sense approaches and immediate attention. My last visit to Lubbock I took in The American Wind Power Center and Museum in Lubbock, TX and found it very interesting. On a personal note I was so happy to realize that the largest collection of windmill weights was donated from none other than, Fairmount/ White Rock, NORTH DAKOTA, our father's birthplace. Small World, and getting smaller! Catherine (Kate) Gray