Kent Avenue Powerhouse

June 25th, 2008 -

The Kent Avenue Powerhouse - also known as the BRT Powerhouse - is now being demolished. Despite a general public outcry, including a petition and a blog and articles in the NY Times, Gothamist, Curbed, Brownstoner, The Brooklyn Paper, and in many other media outlets, work has proceeded at a rapid pace. The southern third of the complex, where a huge and ornate hall was located, has already been destroyed. These photos document the state of demolition in that section and show what remains in the two other sections of the building - the northern hall, full of equipment, and a second large hall located in the middle of the complex.

These photos were taken on June 21st, 2008. A recent set of photos from May 2008 by the LTV Squad shows what the southern hall looked like before it was destroyed. It is clearly evident that Con Edison has already demolished a major portion of the building, and will soon demolish the rest.

The Kent Avenue Powerhouse was built during 1905 and 1906 to power streetcars and trains. It was sold to Con Edison in 1950 and remained in operation until 1999. In 2008, it was labeled as a candidate for the National Register of Historic Places by the New York State Historic Preservation Office. For more history on the plant, please read the Williamsburg Power Station chapter from Thomas Edward Murray's book "Electrical Power Plants" and visit one of the first and best stories on the demolition at I'm Not Sayin, I'm Just Sayin.

Update: This complex was completely demolished
by July 2009.

Northern Hall

Northern Hall Basement

Basement Furnace

Central Hall

Central Hall and Balcony

Abandoned Offices


Basement and Demolition

4th Floor Balcony

Southern Hall Demolition

Destruction of the Southern Third

Southern Wall

Rooftop View

Sunset, Shroud and Navy Yard


  1. These are fantastic, Nate. Kudos for capturing a discrete moment in time, sad as it is.

  2. My grandfather worked in a machine shop on Front Street during the late 1940s/1950s, although its been torn down I would imagine some of it would resemble this structure. He shares great stories from that time. Thank you for your documentary spirit and sharing your research, I will be showing this blog to a 94 year old man and hopefully re-kindling some fond memories of his youth...

  3. Well written article.

  4. paul vincent zecchinoAugust 12, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Thank you for preserving history in these beautiful photos, Nate. The history of electric power production is right here, preserved, thanks to your efforts.

    Paul VIncent Zecchino
    Manasota Key, Florida
    12 August, 2012