When I first got here, I remember someone who had been living here telling me “I’f I have to take one more person to the Hoover Dam I will go nuts.” I didn’t realize it was such a tourist thing and that people wanted to see it. It is about a 50 minute drive from my house and with all the people I have had in town, I still had never made my own trip over there. Until now.
What was I waiting for?!
Now, dam wise, Hoover dam is not as structurally impressive as Grand Coulee Dam. It is a lot more peaceful. However, the architecture, bridge, and surrounding area certainly give it a run for its money.
This Dam provides power for California (56%) Arizona (19%) and Nevada (25%)
The first concrete was poured in 1933. Can you imagine building something of this proportion with the technology of the 30s? They had to build entire government camps just to house the 20,000 plus workers who came in to make this thing happen. I certainly do not envy the men who had to scale the canyon in order to remove the loose rock.
112 men died in the building of the dam (not counting the ones who died pf pneumonia, which some say is a cover for carbon monoxide poisoning), however contrary to popular belief, they were not buried in the walls.
The dam has been open for tourism in 1937. It closed during WWII, during days of remembrance of Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower , and then again during September 11, 2001.
They offer airplane and helicopter tours of the dam too, but I prefer the on-foot tour.
Apparently this is an “art-deco” style of a dam. I love that we can take something that has such a practical use and turn it into a beautiful tourist attraction in order to appreciate its architectural wonder.
If you are driving through Arizona to Nevada, or just need a chance to recover from all of your alcohol and gambling, try and make a trip out to the dam!