Yonkers’ Glenwood Power Station was completed in 1906 as part of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad’s switch from steam engines to electrified rails. In 1936, the coal-burning power plant was sold to ConEd to power much of Yonkers and the surrounding region, until the 1960s, when it shut down for good. Now, with turbines and reusable machinery removed, much of the building has fallen into a state of beautiful decrepitude. Water pools on the floor of the huge, balcony-skirted gallery of the turbine room, while the boiler room’s winding network catwalks and shaky ladders gradually crumbles, leaving the smokestacks suspended, eerily, 40 feet off the ground.
As with much of New York City’s waterfront, the historic building is up for renovation and re-development. Fortunately, much of the original infrastructure will be maintained, and their are plans for a contemporary art museum. Less promisingly, the new design lops off both the original skylight roof and the striking smokestacks, installing, instead, condo towers that seem bent on being as out of place with their surroundings as possible.