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Steam Heat

Steam Heat

GRHC - June 27th, 2012

In 1897 the Edison Electric Company began laying mains in the streets and alleys to furnish steam heat to businesses. Today, steam is still produced and distributed to approximately 130 customers in the downtown area of Grand Rapids.

 

Transcript

On a winter morning whether driving east across the Fulton St. Bridge or west down Fulton St. hill, you’ve no doubt noticed the large plumes of steam rising from the three stacks on the building located at Fulton and Market on the southeast corner.

On May 1, 1888, the Grand Rapids Edison Light and Fuel Company began operation on that site. It was one of 23 plants designed by the Edison Light Company. The plant powered the city’s trolley cars, streetlights, and helped support the rapid growth of the furniture industry.

In 1897 the Edison Electric Company began laying mains in the streets and alleys to furnish steam heat to businesses. One main led south to heat the railway buildings plus the coaches of outgoing trains.

During 1922 through 1927 the steam distribution system, operated by Consumers Power, was expanded into the downtown area. These new steam mains replaced those installed prior to 1916. The present system includes about 7 miles of underground pipe.

Currently, steam is produced for approximately 130 customers in the downtown area. Saint Mary’s Hospital is the largest single customer, however, the City of Grand Rapids is the largest customer with 15 buildings and the Monroe Mall snow melt system.

The Fulton Steam Plant celebrated its restoration to the original 1923 architecture at a rededication ceremony held on December 9, 1998, 110 years after construction of the original Edison Company building.

Full Details

TitleSteam Heat
CreatorGRHC
KeywordsWYCE; radio; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; schools; children; primary school; Edison Electric Co.; Fulton Steam Plant; steam heat;
Duration2:15
Pubdate StringJune 27th, 2012


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