Interborough Rapid Transit Company Powerhouse

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

855-869 Eleventh Avenue (aka 601-669 West 58th Street, 600-648 West 59th Street)

ARCHITECT: Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White

DATE: 1902-05

STYLE: French Neo-Classical, Neo-Grec

French Neo-Classical Manhattan Neo-Grec Upper West ... VIEW ALL

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

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The Neighborhood

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.

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Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance

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Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site

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Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension

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Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society