The First Electric Plant in NYC

I’m a sucker for historical plaques. In downtown Manhattan, I ran across this one at 40 Fulton Street.

It reads “In a building on this site an electric plant supplying the first Edison underground central station system in this country and forming the origin of New York’s present electrical system began operation on September 4, 1882 according to plans conceived and executed by Thomas Alva Edison. To commemorate an epoch-making event this tablet is erected by the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. The New York Edison Company.”

Reading it, I am a bit confused. A strict reading indicates that it wasn’t the first electricity generating plant. Not even the first one done by Edison. But it was the first one that supplied the “underground central station system”. And that system is what the rest of NY’s electrical system ended up based upon.

It sure doesn’t look like a site of a former power plant, does it. It’s pretty tall and I couldn’t tell what its current use is, but it looks like condos or apartments.

-H

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Explore posts in the same categories: Manhattan, Wanderings

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