Adams Plants

The more I looked at the old Niagara Falls map, showing the Adams plant site, the more I realized that I could probably find it if I went looking. The librarian at the Niagara Falls library also mentioned that one of the plants was still there as well. So I set out to photograph the site. In Figure 15 we see the opening to the canal and the Robert Moses Expressway that now passes over it.

Walking toward the highway and inland we can see how wide the canal is, as we look toward the spot across the canal where Adams Plant Number Two once stcxxi. Crossing the highway, I am now standing on the site of the original Adams Plant Number One (Figure 16). How many people realize that it actually was there? There are no signs commemorating the site, which was quite surprising. I started to pick up a few rocks on the ground, knowing that they probably once were a part of the building that housed Tesla's generators.

Figure 15. Robert Moses Expressway over existing Adams Plant canal - Tom Valone
Figure 16. Site of the original Adams Plant Number One - Tom Valone

Looking across the property of the Sewage Treatment Facillity adjacent to the canal, I spotted a building that turned out to be Adams Plant Number Three. In Figure 17, we see the only remaining building of the almost 100-year old trio comprising the world's first AC power stations. It is simply fenced off, again with no sign advertising the extraordinary significance of the building. The Niagara Falls Power Company is now called Niagara Mohawk. An amazing article was discovered from the February, 1962 issue of the Ontario Hydro News, page 13. In 1961, when the Robert Moses Power Plant was opened, the original Tesla generators, which kept working right up until then, were shut down. It was noted in the article that the Niagara Falls Historical Society, which doesn't exist today, was trying to keep the Adams Plant as an "electrical museum." The director of the society said, "It will be a crime if the place is destroyed. The original generators are still there, and it is a natural setting for an electrical museum." Since no money was obtained to buy the buildings, both Adams Plants were razed. I am told that at least one of the generators will be placed in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.

Figure 17. Modern day site of the original Adams Plant Number Three with building intact. -- Thomas Valone.

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