After firing the New York researcher I made my way over to Grand Central Station in pursuit of a building that was my number-one place to visit on my trip to New York. Roughly 15 miles north of Grand Central Station, just above Yonkers, sits - on the bank of the Hudson, next to the railway - the Glenwood Power Station.
South facade of the second turbine room
Tale of two chimneys
Constructed in 1904 and completed by 1906, the Power Station was built to provide a power source for the electrification of the New York railways. In 1936 it was sold to a local electricity provider which used it to provide most of the electricity for the Yonkers area. Its activity as a power station wound down during the 1950s and, eventually, the building was closed and abandoned in the 1960s. It has lain empty ever since. In 2008 the Preservation League of New York designated the Glenwood Power Station as one of the 7 most endangered sites in the state of New York.
This was my first proper urban exploration - gaining access required the scaling of the Glenwood station platform fence and then the trespasser-proof fence surrounding the building. Luckily us Scots are made of stern stuff, and such obstacles were easily overcome. Words fail to do justice to things of great beauty, so I'll spare anything other than a cursory attempt: the photographs say it all, for me.
View through window: entrance to main turbine room
Walking through the dark entrance was quite daunting - I had no idea what to expect. However, everything became clear when I ascended the dimly-lit staircase and entered the first floor of the main turbine room.
Main atrium: main turbine room
The main atrium, gargantuan in proportion, looked more like a Cathedral from the inside than a power station. The light inside was quite brilliant - a rich, ochre hue flooded through the roof-lights transforming the rusted iron structure into a dazzling spectacle.
Iron balcony-structures divided up the vertical space of the north side of the main turbine room
Beams of light and iron divided up the space in their respective ways
East wall - the large hole is where one of the turbines would once have sat
Climbing up another floor, and an even more perilous set of stairs, missing numerous steps, gave an astonishing vantage point from which to view Glenwood Power Station in all its glory.
And this also provided a good view of the control rooms along the north side.
However, it was clear that Glenwood was far from abandoned - signs of life, past and present could be seen everywhere. From mere expressions of transient passing in the form of graffiti, to more permanent marks of habitation.
Signs of Life #1
Signs of life #2
Whilst most of the original machinery has been removed and replaced with monstrous piles of debris and junk, some remains to this day, untouched, since when it was last used in the 1960s. I've found such things as fuseboxes, electrical switches, dials and knobs have been a recurring theme in my photographs, things I always seem to want to photograph. Perhaps it's the sad irony of capturing something once so lively and, quite literally, full of energy, as now despondent, lifeless, and dead.
'Meth' - Dedicated to my NY researcher
The dials and knobs of the panels in the control room remain mostly intact.
A.C. Mega Watts
Feeder Voltmeter / Gen. Indicating Meters
I left the Glenwood Power Station with a mixed feeling of amazement and sorrow. The Glenwood Power Station lies on the banks of the Hudson, like a Castle reminiscent of a bygone era of great industrial development, manufacturing, and power. Now it stands, in a magnificent but sorry state, Cathedral-like, as a shrine to that long-ago era its abandonment exemplifies.