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Traction and Electrical Company, Power Station

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HAER No. MI-76-A, Page 6

In 1908, an addition was attached to the Bay City Power Station. The addition consisted of a single story, flat-roofed brick structure located on the north side of the 1893 building. The addition contained pairs of double-hung leaded windows on the east and west elevations, and a single row of eight double hung leaded windows on the north elevation.

The Bay City Traction and Electric Company Power Station was designed to include two working levels. The lower level or dynamo room housed the electrical generators and various associated machinery. The DC/AC current generating system included two 500 kW generators, one 350 kW generator, and one 120 kW generator. A 500 kW AC current turbine, a 63 kW booster, three 10,000 volt oil bath transformers and a single 11,000 volt oil bath transformer completed the generating system. All machinery was removed prior to the 1920s and the lower level is currently gutted. The lower level has a poured concrete floor cut by several drainage channels.

The upper level of the building is divided into three sections, each with a poured concrete floor. The eastern section of the upper level extends approximately 40 feet west from the Water Street elevation. A free-standing windowed office cubicle is located in the northeast corner of the front section of the upper level. The office cubicle measures approximately 10 feet in width, and 15 feet in length. A bathroom and storage room are also located in the northeast corner of the front room. Two stairways leading to the lower level of the building are located along the longitudinal axis of the front section of this upper level. One stairway is located adjacent to the office cubicle, while the other is located approximately 40 feet to the south of the office.

The middle section of the upper level is a narrow, hall-like space to the west of the front section. The western wall of the middle section is constructed of 2 by 4 inch building studs and plywood sheeting. A drop ceiling containing electrical light fixtures has been constructed between the plywood wall and the brick wall separating the middle section of the upper level from the front section. Doorways in the plywood wall provide a view of the lower level of the building. This section was likely constructed as a safety measure subsequent to removal of the lower level machinery.

The rear section of the upper level is a narrow 15 feet 5 inches wide space extending along the extreme western end of the building. The rear section houses sliding doors in the east wall that allow a view of the lower level. The rear section has recently been paneled and carpeted for use as a temporary office. Originally, this section was designed as a cold storage facility.


The following discussion draws heavily on the biography of Pratt & Koeppe, Architects, compiled by Dale Patrick Wolicki of the Bay County Historical Society. The burgeoning lumber industry of the Saginaw Valley in the years following the Civil War drew a number of prominent architects and builders to the Bay City area. Among these was Leverett A. Pratt who at 23 years of age opened an office in Bay City, Michigan on September 19, 1972.[22] Pratt is reportedly responsible for the design of the Bay City Traction and Electric steam generating plant constructed in 1893.



Names Referenced
Pratt, Leverett A.
Wolicki, Dale P.
Subjects Referenced
Bay County Historical Society
Dynamo room
Electric generators
Saginaw Valley

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