The Powerhouse


Located along the East River at 50-09 Second Street, The PowerHouse is situated one block from the waterfront and one subway stop from Manhattan on the 7 line (Long Island City, NY). The original PowerStation, built in 1906 was a part of the world’s most extensive power-generating system for the electrification and expansion of the Long Island and Pennsylvania Railroads.  The firm of McKim, Mead and White was the project architect, with the engineering firm of Westinghouse, Church, Kerr & Co. responsible for the building’s structural design.

The station used steam turbines to boil water for steam power. Upon the opening of Penn Station, it was providing over 32,500 KW of energy into the train tunnels.  This grand structure was converted into the PowerHouse Condominium – a luxury building consisting of 427 residential units.  

The original proposal was to raze the historic PowerStation, which would have saved $40 million, but the community outcry convinced the developer into preserving at least some of the original building.  This $200 million project that is being developed by CGS Developers and is going up in two phases; Phase one, just recently completed, consists of 11-story, 240,000-sq-ft building and 177 residences.  Phase two will include 250 additional residences.  When completed by 2010, the project will have 340,000 square feet and include a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, a 168-room hotel and a conference facility, and the building, decommissioned in the 1980s, will retain some of its exterior architecture. Using BIM simplified project delivery.  A 3-dimensional building model was created in house for the structural analysis, drafting and shop drawings preparation. It was then used for the automated fabrication of the structural steel. The advantage of BIM for renovation projects cannot be over emphasized. On large renovation projects where existing conditions are exposed during construction, hundreds, if not thousands of RFI’s may be required. With BIM, the RFI’s were almost eliminated.  All questions were taken and answered in house.

In order to save costs, the foundation was tested and reused, saving the owner the entire costs of foundation demolition and reconstruction.

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