Chrysler Powerhouse – 1935

August 22, 2012

I’ve always been a fan of the Chrysler Powerhouse at the end of Ypres.

The picture above is from December 1935, shortly after construction. As with the factory too, it was designed by Hutton & Souter of Hamilton. They also designed the former offices on Chrysler Centre, as well as the GM factory and offices (last picture here) on Walker, along with the Norton Palmer Hotel.

7 Responses to Chrysler Powerhouse – 1935

  1. Shane on August 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Its unique to see the yellow brick used on this structure. The Windsor area has so much red brick, go a little north around London and almost every building is built with the yellow brick.

  2. JBM on August 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    A previous post of April 8, 2009 is an nice aerial view of the Chrysler Assembly plant and the powerhouse.

    http://www.internationalmetropolis.com/2009/04/08/windsor-assembly/

    The railway (Pere Marquette / C&O) ran near the powerhouse. Does anyone know if the fuel for power generation was natural gas or was it coal delivered by rail?

  3. Shawn on August 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Shane, that’s because of the clay type in these areas! Weird eh?
    There’s an elegant old home off Riverside drive that was built specifically in London yellow clay bricks because the guy likes them so much.
    But yes, London area is full of the yellow buildings.

  4. Shane on August 22, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Exiter and Mitchell are also full of beautiful yellow brick buildings… I would kill for a yellow brick house!

  5. Dave on August 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

    There is also a house on Drouillard Rd with yellow brick. It’s a beauty! I belive Andrew has a picture of it. Perhaps a photo-du-jour revisit?

    I always liked this building as well. The chimney stacks reminded me of old spaceships.

  6. colinb on August 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I worked at the plant for 16 years before quitting almost 2 years ago. I was in that powerhouse quite a bit for work and was quite impressed that the outer structure has been kept original for the most part (the north end- like the pic in 1935 was the original section. It had been added on to twice after I think. The original part had one stack, the first expansion added another stack and the final is how you see it today. There is usually 1 running at a time (steam power…). Some interesting points for this building..

    -At the extreme north end you see an expansion where that orange pipe runs out of. There are a number of diesel engines in there with date tags on them. The oldest ones I remember seeing a couple years ago were from the 1950′s.

    -in the basement at the north end there is a boarded up door that led to an underground passage to the main plant. On the south west corner, there is a half door near the ceiling that was locked but it was an extremely old door and it was another tunnel I believe (it had an old no smoking sign on it).

    Prior to about 3 years ago when they put an expansion on the east side and tore up the pavement, there was a section of railroad track that was still there although flush with the cement. That rail line ran parallel to the powerhouse on that side and delivered coal. Inside the powerhouse on that side (above the lower windows against the wall and up to the ceiling, there is a massive coal hopper. It is about the length of 2/3 of the building. I believe that the reason it was there was because the train was right outside on the other side of the wall and would directly offload into this massive hopper. Its still in there and has the old style rivets throughout.

    I loved going into this building because it was almost like stepping back in time- even now. The only other thing I can remember was that back in the mid 90′s when I started there, I remember a brick tower structure on the south east part of the building just outside. I’m not sure what it was but remember it looking very old (same yellowish brick). The giant water tower is obviously gone now but you can still see the 4 cement pads and lags where the legs were attached at ground level.

  7. colinb on August 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    In that pic from 1935, it had already been added on to. That structure at the left side of the pic that is actually there today (above I mentioned there were diesel engines in there), is an expansion. I have an ariel pic of the plant in 1928-29 when the plant was built and there is just the powerhouse without that section.

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