Editor’s note: On November 3, bids for the former Philadelphia Electric Company’s Delaware Generating Station will officially close and a new owner of the massive Fishtown power plant will be revealed. Towering above Penn Treaty Park, the 223,000 square foot plant, almost a thousand feet of waterfront, and the 16.4 acres it resides on has a staggering—if not down right intimidating—amount of potential. One of four power plants along the Delaware designed by John T. Windram, of The Franklin Institute and Family Court fame, it has a distinctive beauty that could shine again if chosen for a creative renovation (The former Bankside Power Station in London that now houses Tate Modern comes to mind). Demolishing the 97 year old generating station would be unfortunate and shortsighted, but the renovation and reuse of the building may be prohibitive. Current owners, Exelon Generation Co. LLC, and the real estate brokers of the property, Biswanger, haven’t made an estimate of the price tag public so we’ll have to wait until the winning bid is announced. Built on the former site of the Neafie & Levy Shipyard—birthplace of the Navy’s first submarine and destroyer and America’s first steam powered fire engine—the station has a century’s worth of industrial infrastructure lurking underneath it and will have to be addressed even after site assessment and a first pass at environmental remediation. Needless to say, what the new owners do with the plant and its parcel will be transformative and likely to push development along the abandoned northern sector of the Delaware waterfront as it moves past the Sugarhouse Casino toward Port Richmond.
Photographer Chandra Lampreich affords us a peek inside the Delaware Generating Station as it stands today.
How did you get in??…I work at the building next door and have been wanting to get in here. Did you ask anyone or just walk in??
Chandra, you really captured the massiveness of that plant. I’ve passed it a million times, always wondering what the interior must look like.
Those pictures are fantastic Chandra, thank you. Also saw your pictures of my old church St. Bonaventure’s while they were tearing it down. It will be quite an undertaking tearing that massive structure down.
Now this building would make a great hidden city tour!
I have photos of the switch house, the boiler sections, construction photos, hidden areas, and even the demolished section including a time when some areas still had electricity and lights on.
Hello! My name is John Kramer. I am creating a documentary of the history of my favorite buildings, the Philadelphia generating stations. I would love to get in touch with you to see the photos you have taken of the demolished section that the retired workers refer to as “the new plant”. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my phone number 2674552031. I hope to hear from you!
Seems like there is hardly any graff in these flicks. Must be old ones.The stacks all have writing on them now and one even has a american flag on it. The flag showed up 4th of July 😉
Oh what I wouldn’t give to get in there my camera — gorgeous pics!
speechless!. Simply amazing what at one time was built on this site. So much history yet so few care about the greatness of our city