Consolidated Edison Sherman Creek Generating Plant
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The Sherman Creek Generating Plant was originally built by the United Electric Light & Power Company and was later absorbed into Con Ed. The site was established in 1914 and stood on West 201st Street, where Sherman Creek meets the Harlem River. The massive brick and steel structure was designed to produce and deliver alternating current exclusively. The plant operated as an electricity-generating plant until 1970.
One of nine power plants built by entrepreneur Thomas E. Murray, the plant had many innovations and required only one-third the number of boilers of the other electricity-generating plants in the area. The plant had other modern advances, including the use of pulverized coal and a special water spray system that was put in place to catch cinders.
The four brick-lined smokestacks rising from the massive structure were 325-feet tall. The Sherman Creek Generating Station was considered a modern marvel of the time. The coal used by the facility was delivered by barge on the Harlem River. The plant and the company that owned it faced various problems, even in the early days of operation. A lawsuit was filed by property owners in the area against United Electric Light & Power Company for pouring millions of gallons of hot water into Sherman Creek. It was claimed that the company had secretly built a tunnel to carry away the hot water at a rate of 11,000 gallons per hour, also flooding a piece of land. The lawsuit was successful, and United Electric Light & Power Company was forced to pay the plaintiffs.
The Sherman Creek Generating Station was taken offline in 1970, due to an inability to meet clean air standards. Several plans were presented to repurpose the site, including building an affordable housing residential complex on the site, none of which were approved. Eventually, in 1997, the plant was demolished.
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- My Inwood: Sherman Creek Power Generating Station
- IEEE: Architect of Power