Ford Powerhouse – c. 1955

July 30, 2014

A view of the Ford Powerhouse on Riverside Drive and Cadillac, from the mid 1950’s shortly after it was expanded. Originally designed by Albert Kahn in 1924, the building still stands, and is still in use today.

Hiding in the left corner is a nice view of the old Riverview Hospital (demolished).

21 Responses to Ford Powerhouse – c. 1955

  1. Gary on July 30, 2014 at 6:34 am

    it’s too bad they couldn’t did like that one developer did on St.Luke and turn riverview into apartments or condo’s,nice shot of the power house it looks so mighty

  2. Ron on July 30, 2014 at 8:19 am

    My Dearest Gary: Would there be of anyone of financial worth who would want to live in such close proximity to Four Massive Smokestacks, however?

  3. ShawnM on July 30, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I thought there was an apartment near that area (it’s yellow brick) that was the Riverview Hospital?
    Was there a second hospital that was converted?

  4. Andrew on July 30, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Shawn that’s the back wing of the hospital that’s the apartment building today. The original section was demolished.

  5. RobS on July 30, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    When did Riverview close approximately?

  6. mark r on July 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    My last job at Ford was on the labour gang in the powerhouse. The only boiler and generator running was #5, the largest at the plant. Everything else is mothballed. The new East Windsor Power next to the powerhouse is a pure modern co-generation station. The only thing coming out of any smokestack is heat. No fear to anyone about any form of pollution.

  7. Gary on July 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Ya Ron I guess your right I don’t think I’ve ever seen smoke coming from any of the stacks BUT!! I guess it’s what you don’t see that gets you

  8. Douglas Skoyles on July 30, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    That is one beautiful example of the best of industrial architecture! It has such strong lines, softened by the subtle curves of the stacks and adorned with the upper facades. Any idea of who designed it?

  9. Uzzy on July 31, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Douglas, “Originally designed by Albert Kahn in 1924″ is in the article.

    There’s one fewer smoke stack, today.

  10. ShawnM on July 31, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Oh thanks Andrew. Wasn’t sure if there were two or not.
    That’s one ugly apartment building IMO.

  11. Dave on July 31, 2014 at 9:23 am

    RobS. It was the early 1990s. It was originally a school. My Grandfather was there for a few years before he passed away. As akid I always thought it was a neat old building and you could definitely tell it was a school.

  12. Douglas Skoyles on July 31, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    @Uzzy. Some days the brain works, some days it doesn’t. Sorry for having wasted electrons. Did Kahn design other Windsor buildings?

  13. Uzzy on August 1, 2014 at 7:13 am

    @Douglas, yes he’s got many buildings in Windsor. If you search this site, you’ll see a lot of them.

  14. Jane on August 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Actually, on the topic of Kahn designed buildings – is there a “master list” of all his work in Windsor? The city’s list of heritage buildings is helpful, but it would be nice to have all his known work for Windsor in one list.

  15. Colette on August 2, 2014 at 12:28 am

    A popular misconception about power houses, is that the steam released from the stacks is smoke. It is the vapour from the water in the boilers.

  16. mark r on August 2, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Thank you Colette. Most people think that if you have a smokestack that you are the evil one making pollution when in fact all co-gen plants are gas fired just like your furnace in your house. There is only Lambton generating station burning coal and because of “scrubbers” in the stacks, you see nothing coming out. Back in 1968, Ford installed scubbers voluntarily on their stacks at the foundry by a company called Centri-spray out of Lansing. Their office was the Valiant plant at Tec. and Jefferson. Now, these were not up to today’s standards but it was a start for things to come. Unfortunately we see the condensate from Zug Island all day if you drive west on Tec. Road, endorsing the old stereotype and giving modern plants a bad rap.

  17. mark r on August 2, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Riverview was a public school before a hospital. That whole area east of it was once owned by a scottish man named Erskine Askin, hence Erskine street. Strabane was named after his estate back in Scotland.

  18. SGO on August 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Riverview hospital was originally built as a public school.

  19. David Hansen on August 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Riverview Hospital was originally the Ford City School, which opened for the 1917-18 school year. It was renamed the Belle Isle School for the 1923-24 school year and then the Belle Isle Avenue School for the 1927-28 school year. It appears to have been closed as a public school after the 1931-32 school year. It was part of the Ford City and East Windsor School Boards. All this came from the ‘Schools and Teachers of Ontario’ or the Ontario Blue Books, which were published from 1911 to 1966. A great source of information on the Windsor area schools. One of the principals was Ada C. Richards, who later moved to the Ontario Street School. That school was named for her in the 1947-48 school year.

  20. Uzzy on August 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    David Hansen, interesting information. But I find it strange that they would call it Belle Isle Avenue school, since it’s not on Belle Isle Avenue. It is on Belleview Ave. Though, maybe it was called Belle Isle Avenue back then? That’s possible. There is a Belle Isle View Blvd in Windsor, but it’s more in the Riverside area. Maybe there was a conflict during amalgamation and this one was changed.

  21. David Hansen on August 13, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Uzzy, I have been doing research on the Windsor school system for the last few years, and I have found many examples where the names of streets or the schools were changed. I haven’t yet found out the reason for the name change for the Ford City School, but my project is a long way from completion.

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