Carlsbad's Iconic Smokestack is More of a Big Stump Now

Some agree the old smokestack in Carlsbad was a landmark, but not everyone agrees it was pretty

NBC Universal, Inc.

It towered over Carlsbad for decades. Its 400 feet of mighty concrete and steel could be seen for miles. The old Encina Power Plant smokestack was iconic. It was a landmark.

And not a lot of people are sad it’s gone.

“I felt that it was an eyesore,” said Carolyn Steeves. “I didn’t hate it. I just thought it was an eyesore. It’s the only way I can describe it.”

“It was there most of my life,” said Bruce Headrick. “So, I’m going to miss it in that respect.”

However, most of the people hustling by the old Encina Power Plant along Coast Highway didn’t shed a tear now that the old tower is now more than 200 feet shorter. The tower and the power plant below were retired in 2018 after another power plant went online nearby.

“I think Carlsbad would be prettier without it,” said Steeves, who looked at the old power plant a few miles away from the famous Flower Fields. “I understand that they don’t know what they’re going to do with the actual lot.”

NRG owns the property but has not announced future plans. They said demolition is expected to be completed by mid-2020.

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