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This afternoon I will be giving a tour to a group of electrical consultants. They want to come up with new ways to save the City money by cutting back on our electrical use. Every time there is a new administration, new “Offices” and Bureaus are created. To prove their worth for their new job and new title, they come up with these new major plans for the City. Actually, there is nothing new about it. This will be the fourth or fifth time this has happened. Once in the 80s it was decided to turn 1/2 the lights out in the hallways and filter areas. Personnel complained that they couldn’t see, so they turned the lights back on, which in turn, maintenance then removed the bulbs. Just a few years ago they (paid consultants) came up with the idea to switch out all lights with LED bulbs. That definitely was not going to be cost saving.

I started looking through some old files and came across these Electrical Commission photographs from the 1920s:

Electrical Commission office for operations, maintenance and construction. 

On the wall to the left of the first photo was this photograph. It was in bad shape when it was removed from the wall and placed in storage.

The commission’s garage and work area was destroyed by fire. Looking thru the building on the left you can see the burnt autos.


More damage from fire.

Work still continues despite the damage.

Clay duct banks. These were used to rebuild the garages…

…as can be seen here.

A new fleet of vehicles while the rebuilding continues in the background.