I have a secret confession to make… the Hudson Line sure is attractive, but in my opinion, one of the most beautiful spots is probably not on most people’s list. I absolutely adore Glenwood. I do have a bizarre infatuation with abandoned buildings, though – and the old Glenwood power station is quite gorgeous to me. While we’re technically checking out Glenwood’s train station today, the abandoned power station is impossible to miss. It also has a shared history with the railroad, at least in the distant past, which does make it a relevant part of today’s tour.

Inside the power station. Despite my professed love for the abandoned Glenwood power station, I’m too much of a law-abiding chicken to try and enter the place. Thankfully, many other people have, and it is pretty easy to find photos online. Photo by Chris M. Howard.

As you may remember, in 1902 there was a serious train crash in the Park Avenue Tunnel, which was one of the catalysts for third-rail electrification heading into New York City. The railroad, of course, needed somewhere to get the electricity from – and built two power generating stations – here in Glenwood, and another one in Port Morris.

Completed in 1906, the Glenwood power station provided high voltage electricity to various substations located along the Harlem and Hudson divisions. These substations converted the electricity to what was needed to power the third rail for the trains. The New York Central used the power station for 30 years, before selling it to Con Edison in 1936. It was ultimately shut down in the 1960’s, and for many years sat vacant.

Glenwood Power Station – reimagined.

Over the many years that the the power station has sat idle, there have been various proposals to convert it to other uses. Some of those proposals are downright strange – like the one above. Designed by architect Will Alsop, he reimagined the power station as a new home to a contemporary art museum, with residential apartments located above. As you will see from my photos below, work is currently being done on the old building, thankfully not using the design above. According to The New York Times, $200 million has been set aside for the restoration and redevelopment, “to be used for conventions, exhibitions and public events, among other things.”

CSX at Glenwood in 2009 – the former power station visible in both. Photos by Michael Foley.

As for the Metro-North station itself, Glenwood is about 16 miles north of Grand Central, situated in the city of Yonkers. The station consists of two side platforms, connected by an overpass. Above the platforms and on the same level as the overpass there is an old brick station building which is fairly attractive – minus the chain and padlock on the doors.

All of the platform station signs mention the Hudson River Museum, which is within walking distance of the station, and worth checking out. Perhaps not too far in the future, with the redevelopment at the old power station, there will be more attractions at Glenwood. If residential apartments were a part of that plan, it would be the perfect home for a commuter – within walking distance of Glenwood station, all with lovely views of the Hudson River.


5 Responses

  1. Al Cyone says:

    Fascinating stuff about the power station. I had no idea. Thanks.

  2. Old Geezer says:

    The artist’s conception of the renovation plan looks like a collection of Post-It notes stuck on a truncated oil derrick.

  3. Backshophoss says:

    Not sure if the power plant got the coal needed to run from the RR
    or barge,but there was a small yard in the area.
    A tower called GD was just north of the station.

  4. Al Brecken says:

    I aquired a 1905 issue of “The Street Railway Journal” that featured an article on the constuction of the Glenwood Power Station, a period when transportation companies had to provide their own power . The “standard” system at the time was 11,000 volts @ 25 cycles.

    Concomitant with Glenwood was the PRR’s generating plant at Long Island City, and then in 1907 the New Haven’s Cos Cob Power Plant that endured LONG after Glenwood and Long Island City power-plants were obsolete. I also aquired much documentation on the Cos Cob Plant and the New Haven electrification.

    A very interesting book , “Hudson Valley Ruins” has a chapter on the Glenwood Station and the hydo-electric power plant of the Albany & Hudson RR at Stuyvesant Falls in Columbia Ct.

  5. Dan says:

    Everybody seems to have info about the power station, but what about the origins of the railroad station?

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