New York Central's Glenwood Power Station

One of the last vestiges of the original New York Central's electrification, the massive Glenwood Power Station, in Yonkers, NY is still standing and should be for some time to come. The facility is located right along the Hudson Division of today's Metro-North Railroad. If I remember my history correctly, after it was no longer needed to supply power for the railroad or its successors, it was sold to Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) and at some point later, I believe the City of Yonkers was offered the plant for $1, but turned it down. 

For many years, the power station has stood abandoned. Many consider it an eyesore and there has been at least another plan over the past few years (I seem to recall an idea to turn it into some weird looking art gallery), that never materialized. 

Today, Yonkers announced plans to give it a ninth life, between the Yonkers and New York State. I think most of us would like railroad history to be preserved, so hopefully this will work out. This is the plan: 

(Turning it)"...into a cultural destination and performance space for members of the Yonkers community and an international tourist destination. During this second phase of redevelopment, The Goren Group will continue to focus resources on infrastructure improvements, rehabilitating the buildings on site to include the largest and most majestic of the three buildings, Turbine Hall."

Tom 

glenwood power station [2)

Glenwood interior

 

 

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Dave,

Luckily, there are some folks who have a great vision for massive projects like this. Just to name two that happened fairly recently and in this area...in Manhattan, there is The High Line...further up the Hudson is the ex-Central New England (later New Haven) bridge, now called The Walkway Over the Hudson. Both are considered hugely successful. Most folks scoffed at the initial plans for both of these. No reason Glenwood can't be successful, too. 

Tom 

I have lived in Yonkers my whole life, 61 years. I ride Metro North every day from Greystone in Yonkers, past Glenwood and the power station, along the Hudson. I love the ride, and always ride on the river side to admire and enjoy the Hudson & the Palisades. It relaxes me before work each day, as a graphic artist at a large advertising agency in Manhattan, 3 blocks from Grand Central.

I grew up within walking distance of the Hudson. Played along the rocks, skipped stones, fished & crabbed there my whole life, with my Grandfather, since I was six. I fish whenever I have the time, for years with my 3 kids, and now with my Grandson, Hudson, his dad and uncle. Mostly for fun these days, we always catch fish, stripers, catfish, perch, tommy cods, eels, and even a few sturgeon over the years. I bet I've caught close to a dozen different species from the Hudson. It's been many years, close to 30, I guess, but my largest catch was a 35" striper, I'm sure well over 15 lbs. Fond memories all!

Oh yeah, back to trains. I witnessed, unfortunately only diesel and electric, the NYC transition from lightning stripe, to cigar band paint schemes, Penn Central black, and Conrail blue to the present Amtrak red, white & blue passenger service & Metro North commuter trains. Some of my favorites have been RS-1 & RS-3 diesels, P-2 & T-3 electrics, all in 2 tone lightning stripe. I remember many 120+ freight trains rumble past Ludlow train station, day and night. If I only cared about photography in those days. I was too busy playing baseball and football at the Ludlow train station plaza... If I only had a time machine!

This all started because of the power station. It's an awesome structure and really a beautiful, well built piece of architecture and history. This past summer, on my way to work, I'd see workers cleaning up the years of accumulated debris around the building. Glad to hear it will live on, looking forward to the facelift!

Joe 

MNCW posted:

For many years, the power station has stood abandoned. Many consider it an eyesore and there has been at least another plan over the past few years (I seem to recall an idea to turn it into some weird looking art gallery), that never materialized. 

 

Glenwood interior 

Tom;

Thanks for posting... the last thing I'd call this is an eyesore. The interior shot reminds me of a great European cathedral. So happy that the building will be saved.

Paul

Techno-Peasant of the First Order

Provisionary Member - Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

 

Hello Tom & Paul,

I was quite excited to see a post for a structure I see nearly every day, and so close to home for me. I admired it's strength & beauty for years, not so much for how it was left to deteriorate and decline, but for the pride the designers & builders must have felt during and after it's construction. Maybe not quite a cathedral in beauty, but cathedral like, with its arched windows and massive truss girder ceiling. Built with precision, which is truly evident when studying the perfection of the brickwork. It had a very specific purpose and is a classic example of a typical railroad structure, well maybe not so typical.

Thanks for starting this post. Maybe I'll find a way to incorporate its likeness on my railroad.

Joe


 

ironman1 posted:

I have lived in Yonkers my whole life, 61 years. I ride Metro North every day from Greystone in Yonkers, past Glenwood and the power station, along the Hudson. I love the ride, and always ride on the river side to admire and enjoy the Hudson & the Palisades. It relaxes me before work each day, as a graphic artist at a large advertising agency in Manhattan, 3 blocks from Grand Central.

I grew up within walking distance of the Hudson. Played along the rocks, skipped stones, fished & crabbed there my whole life, with my Grandfather, since I was six. I fish whenever I have the time, for years with my 3 kids, and now with my Grandson, Hudson, his dad and uncle. Mostly for fun these days, we always catch fish, stripers, catfish, perch, tommy cods, eels, and even a few sturgeon over the years. I bet I've caught close to a dozen different species from the Hudson. It's been many years, close to 30, I guess, but my largest catch was a 35" striper, I'm sure well over 15 lbs. Fond memories all!

Oh yeah, back to trains. I witnessed, unfortunately only diesel and electric, the NYC transition from lightning stripe, to cigar band paint schemes, Penn Central black, and Conrail blue to the present Amtrak red, white & blue passenger service & Metro North commuter trains. Some of my favorites have been RS-1 & RS-3 diesels, P-2 & T-3 electrics, all in 2 tone lightning stripe. I remember many 120+ freight trains rumble past Ludlow train station, day and night. If I only cared about photography in those days. I was too busy playing baseball and football at the Ludlow train station plaza... If I only had a time machine!

This all started because of the power station. It's an awesome structure and really a beautiful, well built piece of architecture and history. This past summer, on my way to work, I'd see workers cleaning up the years of accumulated debris around the building. Glad to hear it will live on, looking forward to the facelift!

Joe 

Joe,

  Hello neighbor. If you've been around long enough (like it sounds like you have, like me), adding to your list of locomotives, I think you would have also seen a few S-motors and the FL9's and FL9AC's (while they were briefly working...maybe working should be in quotes!). As far as MU equipment, the 1100-series had a pretty long life in service. When Metro-North painted the FL9's in New York Central lightning stripes, I'm sure you picked up your camera for that! 

  I think the day they rolled out the FL9's in NYC colors (I had to check...it was 1999), it was a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of railroad service along the Hudson. I was up in Dobbs Ferry taking pictures as the FL9's went up and down the Hudson for a good chunk of the day. I was standing near a bridge and a Dobbs Ferry police sergeant stopped to make sure a fellow railfan and myself were not going to jump off the bridge. He asked what we were doing, seemed to be a bit of a railfan/history lover himself and ended up staying with us for a while. 

   Regarding the fishing, I was wondering if you eat any of your fish that you catch? 

Tom 

(not my picture but found it online to show the paint comparison of Metro-North with the New York Central's paint scheme).

fl9s

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Hi Tom,

Like Joe Krasko suggests, don't hold our breath. Trust me, I won't! There has been tons of development in that area along the river recently, so anything is possible, but at least there's hope.

Unfortunately I've never been much of a die-hard railfan, following with a camera. I love to watch the trains run by, and still get a thrill on the rare occasion when on the way home on the commuter, we pass a freight. Can't help myself from counting the cars. Once in a while I'll catch a hundred plus freight. I do have some photos of a Lightning stripe T-3 that was parked at the Croton North RR station for a few weeks and the 2 Erie Lackawanna passenger cars on display there. I worked at the station for a couple of years when it was home to a small advertising agency. I think that was 1985.

As far as eating the fish, honestly no. The last one I ate was the large striper I mentioned above. Caught it on a rainy Sunday morning off the rocks at Greystone. April 29th, 1983, my birthday. I was 27, by myself & no camera. Who would believe I caught a fish that big there. So I kept it, and I do have a photo somewhere that my wife took when I got home. I didn't have the heart to throw it away, so I filleted and baked it. Sweetest, tastiest fish I ever ate. Being a migratory fish spawning in the Hudson, and constantly on the move, I'm confident that there was no danger eating that fish. Ever since, I make it a tradition to fish on my birthday. Although I always have good luck, I haven't surpassed the size of that fish, and I always have a camera.

One other thing, I'm confident that crabs are abundant in the river. When fishing for a couple of hours or more, it's nearly impossible to catch a fish in the same spot. All you do is feed the blue claws!  I have pulled up some huge diehards that won't let go of the hook, at least until they break the surface when I real them in.

By the way, I live in the Homefield area of Yonkers and have been for 34 years, previously lived at 2 Sunnyside drive, by Ludlow station, until I married.

Joe

Been a lot of development of the Yonkers waterfront, and as the city has been changing (when they start talking about Getty Square gentrifying, that is something..my wife lived there more than 40 years ago as kid, it was crappy then, was not much better last time we drove through there), so hopefully this will happen.  Would make for a lot of things, be a pretty interesting performance space, also could be used for other things including some kind of retail focused around small shops and such (not a shopping mall, which are dying off at a rapid pace). Old powerplants like this were often built like Cathedrals, there is an abandoned Con Ed plant on the Harlem River near the tip of Manhattan that is like that, kind of creepy surroundings, the water behind it is full of abandoned, sunk and  half sunk boats. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Can anybody talk about the plant technically?  The plant burned coal delivered by water?  Steam powered reciprocating engines?  Generated AC 25 cycle power at what voltage?  This was transmitted up and down the NYC to power the 25 cycle rotary converters that produced the 650 VDC used on the NYC electrification?  Generating equipment was built by GE?   It had what KW (MW) output? What year was it shut down?  

I would love to know more.

Thanks, David Johnston

ironman1 posted:

Hi Tom,

Like Joe Krasko suggests, don't hold our breath. Trust me, I won't! There has been tons of development in that area along the river recently, so anything is possible, but at least there's hope.

Unfortunately I've never been much of a die-hard railfan, following with a camera. I love to watch the trains run by, and still get a thrill on the rare occasion when on the way home on the commuter, we pass a freight. Can't help myself from counting the cars. Once in a while I'll catch a hundred plus freight. I do have some photos of a Lightning stripe T-3 that was parked at the Croton North RR station for a few weeks and the 2 Erie Lackawanna passenger cars on display there. I worked at the station for a couple of years when it was home to a small advertising agency. I think that was 1985.

As far as eating the fish, honestly no. The last one I ate was the large striper I mentioned above. Caught it on a rainy Sunday morning off the rocks at Greystone. April 29th, 1983, my birthday. I was 27, by myself & no camera. Who would believe I caught a fish that big there. So I kept it, and I do have a photo somewhere that my wife took when I got home. I didn't have the heart to throw it away, so I filleted and baked it. Sweetest, tastiest fish I ever ate. Being a migratory fish spawning in the Hudson, and constantly on the move, I'm confident that there was no danger eating that fish. Ever since, I make it a tradition to fish on my birthday. Although I always have good luck, I haven't surpassed the size of that fish, and I always have a camera.

One other thing, I'm confident that crabs are abundant in the river. When fishing for a couple of hours or more, it's nearly impossible to catch a fish in the same spot. All you do is feed the blue claws!  I have pulled up some huge diehards that won't let go of the hook, at least until they break the surface when I real them in.

By the way, I live in the Homefield area of Yonkers and have been for 34 years, previously lived at 2 Sunnyside drive, by Ludlow station, until I married.

Joe

With fish around the NYC area the recommended limits are no more than 1 fish per week taken from waters around here. With the Hudson the big culprit were the PCB's that GE dumped into the river for years that basically saturated the waters and river bed all the way down to NY Harbor. Over time once GE was forced to stop dumping the levels have declined, but because PCB's are in the mud at the bottom of the river it still is leaching into the water. Once silt and such covers the bottom and buries the PCB deposits, the levels will likely decline to the point that fish aren't affected. Ironically, when GE was forced to clean up their dump site by dredging and removing contaminated river bed material, it allowed pcbs to contaminate the river afresh (though they did use coffer dams and the like to try and prevent this), for the time they were doing this pcb levels went up. Striped bass don't just go up the hudson to spawn, they live in the waters year round and being an oily fish they are very susceptible to pcb contamination. Shad on the other hand go up the hudson to spawn and commercial fishing is allowed for them because they don't have time to get contaminated with the short time they are in the river. There are other issues as well, industrial dumping in the waters around NYC, plus untreated sewage especially after a storm, also can create hazards. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

As sad as it is to say, I doubt that the Hudson will be PCB free enough in my lifetime to eat the fish on a regular basis. I fished the river my whole life and will continue to do so with my kids & Grand children.  It doesn't stop me from fishing as often as I can, and just catch and release. 

I like fishing from the rocks but only wish I new of a place I could rent a small boat for a day, like I did with my Grandfather as a kid.

A beautiful piece of architecture that should be restored and used again, although it would be costly. My suggestion - a market place and tourist attraction with many eating places - along the lines of the historic Quincy Market in Boston.

MELGAR 

@ironman1:

Agreed,  things like PCB's stay around a long time. NY Harbor has gotten clean enough that it is starting to have significant populations of oysters in it (the harbor and surrounding waters literally teamed with Oysters before the start of the 20th century) but it is likely they will never be edible, thanks to the practice of factories chucking things like heavy metals into the rivers and bays that feed the harbor, Oysters will always be inedible.

On the other hand as you point out, you can always fish catch and release, and as they say, a bad day fishing is still fishing, while any day not fishing is..... *lol*. I am hoping they rebuild the Yonkers waterfront, it is really a gem, it always amazes me when waterfront property, that should be some of the most beautiful and expensive land around, has been let go. My wife grew up across the street from Untermeyer Park, and the waterfront there was sadly a wasteland, the park wasn't in great shape when we met several decades ago, and it could be beautiful.  

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

BIGKID,

I believe that a lot off effort has been focused on Untermeyer Park in recent years and it's still a popular wedding photography location.

The waterfront has a lot of potential. Yonkers pier has come a long way, with some nice restaurants and areas to relax and walk along. Not sure when Metro North rebuilt most of the stations along the way, over 20 years I guess. Greystone, and Riverdale benefitted with extensive renovating along the water, with pathways and areas with benches to relax directly across the stations. It didn't take long for vandalism to ruin the effort. The areas are still accessible and are good places to fish. And yes, I'd take a bad day of fishing over a lot of things! In close to 60 years fishing the Hudson I rarely get skunked! The best thing, is the hope that I will land something interesting or big. You never know. I regularly catch stripers over 16", not huge but still a good fight! The 2 sturgeon I caught were quite a surprise.

I hope to see the power station renovated. Always wanted to fish over there :-)

Joe

Even the Yonkers train station is a nice little oasis near the waterfront. I took some nice shots there (I think it was 1999) when Metro-North ran FL9's painted in the New York Central Lightning Stripes. Almost as exciting as fishing! 

Tom 

yonkers

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