Opened in 1904 to provide electric power for the pioneering IRT Subway, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company Powerhouse represents a unique integration of 20th-century engineering and classical architectural expression. The largest generating station constructed up to that time, its exterior was designed by the renowned architect Stanford White in his typically opulent style, making it the system’s preeminent monument reflecting the ideals of the City Beautiful movement.
Its exterior, as well as its original smokestacks, which have been removed, were designed by Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White in the French neo-Classical style. Some features, such as the palmette motifs decorating the pilaster blocks on its Eleventh Avenue facade, draw upon the neo-Grec style introduced in mid-19th century Paris. Ornament within the pilaster capitals is symbolic of power generation and the subway system.
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is located along the western side of Central Park from 59th Street to 110th Street. The Upper West Side has several Historic Districts and Individual Landmarks.Explore the Neighborhood >
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society