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|"QUANTUM SHOT" #539|
Link - article by Justin Sampson and Avi Abrams
Still generating power... to creep us out
The way some power plants and substations look, you'd think they fell out of some crack in the sky and materialized in our world - only to haunt and disturb normal citizens. Their incessant humming, occasional insectoid twittering and subliminal noise can be plenty annoying, but when they get abandoned, the tangle of cables, machinery and crumbling towers (combined with deep silence) makes it visually much, much worse...
(image credit: EarthMagnified)
Before we embark on a tour of some depressing abandoned power plants, here is a wonderfully bizarre structure still intact in London:
Duke Street Electricity Substation in London... with a garden on top.
London-based photographer Mark Obstfeld, a friend of our site, shares with us his urban discovery in London: "While wandering round the west side of town, I remembered I'd seen an unusual building before - just off Oxford St (main shopping street) in the West End, near Selfridges (a big department store). A few people were having lunch away from the bustle 50 metres away."
The English Heritage site has more of the history of this unusual substation: "This unusual and stylish edifice, together with the paved garden on top, was built in 1903–5 for the Westminster Electric Supply Corporation to the designs of C. Stanley Peach, with C. H. Reilly as assistant. As built, the sub-station rose to a greater height than had been contemplated, with a balustrade all round, and Diocletian windows along the sides to light the galleries of the engine rooms, which occupied deep basements. The garden above was paved and allotted the trees in tubs suggested, though these no longer exist..."
(photos by Mark Obstfeld)
Forgotten New York Power House
The New York Subway at one point had its own dedicated power system, called the Power House which was built in 1904. This huge complex covering an entire city block now sits forgotten. At its peak capacity, the plant could produce 132,000 horsepower.
(images via 1, 2)
Timothy Vogel visited several New York Central Power stations along the Hudson River (note the curiously shaped meters):
(images credit: Timothy Vogel)
In a cold, cold bunker... lurks a dark, dark power
Sweden is home to more than fifty underground bunker substations built during World War II. Concealing powerful generators, bomb-proof, cooled by underground rivers, these structures still look like they can survive anything "Half-Life" and such could unleash against it:
(images credit: Jakob Ehrensvärd)
BC Hydro in Vancouver, Canada, owns a couple of truly spectacular (almost gothic) abandoned hydroelectric power stations, with decorations more befitting a 5-star hotel than an industrial complex. Built in 1903 at a staggering cost of $1,300,000 (quite a lot of money back then) and operated until 1964, they stand guard on the river - still very elegant, with a whiff of haunted electricity inside:
(image credit: Steven Ballegeer)
Kayakers enjoy going around them and imagining themselves on the set of some horror movie:
(images via 1, 2, 3, 4, )
Forbidden site, evocative scenery - power stations on the Indian Arm, near Buntzen Lake:
(images credit: Vida J Morkunas, Laura Blumenthal)
Yonkers, NY is home to Glenwood Power Station, built in 1906. In 1960 the plant was abandoned and never touched since. Like the New York Power House, this was built to power the electric rail road system:
(image credit: Elephi Pelephi)
The following photograph is not some giant Shogi board set, it's just a simple dock ruin... but in the sunset all gets shifted meaning; perfect time to go inside:
(image courtesy Rob Yasinsac HudsonValleyRuins)
(image credit: EarthMagnified)
Weird creatures leave there and come out after dark:
(image credit: Michael Sullivan)
The view out of Glenwood power plant windows can't be beat, either:
(image credit: John Zwinck)
Now we know why so many epic storylines end in the abandoned factories or power plants. Nowhere is the power of decay and redemption is so evident, as in the rusted husks of once-mighty turbines, bathed in ethereal light.
More wanderings in and around forgotten power plants
Unlike most other abandoned hydroelectric plants, White River Falls Power Station in Oregon looks pretty unassuming, in fact like nothing more than a barn. Built in 1901, and closed after WW2, much of the steampunk-ish machinery remains inside, to the delight of the occasional explorer:
(images credit: Jay Lake)
Construction on Cherokee Nuclear Power Plant was halted in 1983, after $633 million (or about $1.2 billion U.S. adjusted for inflation). The unfinished cooling tower was used as the set for "Deepcore" during the filming of "The Abyss". Once the filming was over, funding went dry and the film set was left to rot. It was covered in notices stating that it was property of the 20th Century Fox and any access to it was prohibited. In 2007 a new power plant was approved to be constructed next door, and the remaining parts of the Cherokee Power Plant were slated for demolition.
(image credit: Dave Scaglione)
Another abandoned power plant: this one is in Bushehr, Iran. Construction on this sci-fi looking facility was stopped after Iran signed an agreement to halt nuclear research:
(images via 1, 2)
Construction of the Yusufiyah Electrical Generation Plant was started in 2001 by the Soviets, but was moth-balled two years later. Here is a huge transformer (in the best sense of this word), lying around:
(image credit: James Gordon)
Eyesores be gone: there is hope for the abandoned cooling towers
The painting of the cooling tower of the Cruas Nuclear Power Station in France took 9 mountaineers 8,000 man hours and 4,000 liters of paint to complete. The Johannesburg cooling towers (image on the right) are also no longer used by the power plant, and are being turned into bases for bungee jumping and rappelling.
(images via 1, 2)
CONTINUE TO PART TWO! ->
Creepy High-Voltage Installations
Abandoned Tunnels and Vast Underground Places
Check out the whole Abandoned Places category.
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