abandoned power plant- richmond generating station

I may finally have a new top favorite urbanex adventure to beat out Devil’s Tower! Last weekend we took a walk out to the river and made our way back to the Richmond Generating Station. We had originally made a quick stop there right before the quarantine but we had a very cranky baby and weren’t able to snap more than a few quick photos. This time I only had my phone on me so these photos aren’t the highest quality but honestly I don’t even care- this place was amazing!

Its construction was completed in 1925 to meet the growing demands for electricity in Philadelphia. The neo-classical design, popular of the time, was chosen to symbolize the power and legacy of the building. I personally can’t get over the vaulted glass ceilings- even being mostly broken are still breathtaking.

Here’s a photo from of inside I took from workshopoftheworld.com that shows a better view of the windows and what the main turbine room looked like.

Photo credit: workshopoftheworld.com

The building was designed to look like a classical Roman bath house. I get such a kick out of the design and detail put into much of the industrial architecture throughout the early 1900s. It’s as though the form of the buildings were just as important as their function and I kind of wish we could bring that back.

The building was functional up until the early 1980s. Aside from being reopened occastionally as a movie set(12 Monkeys, Transformers 2, and The Last Airbender), it sits idle overlooking the river. When you look through the windows you can even see equipment just lying around like someone just walked off and left it there- very eery!

Unfortunately over the years, much of the beautiful copper has been stolen by looters.

I’m just beyond happy I finally got to see this place up close, it’s been on my bucket list for a minute now and it definitely did not disappoint. I do wish we could have gotten inside a little more, but there was so much water all around it would have been very messy and difficult with what we had on us.

I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed being able to take them. This place definitely boosted my urbanex spirits. I had been feeling a little bored lately, but now I am re-inspired- so stayed tuned for more abandoned explorations 🙂 Until next time- happy wandering!

divine lorraine hotel-philadelphia

This is one of those times I have totally mixed feelings about a restored building.. On one hand, I am incredibly happy that this historic landmark has been taken and restored to it’s former glory. On the other, I’m super jealous that I didn’t have an opportunity to explore it in it’s abandoned state and a little petty since it’s now privately owned, I wasn’t allowed to wander the halls to photograph as I pleased, or soak up it’s raw history at my leisure. I’ll get over it. I did manage to get a cell phone pic of the lobby, before the front desk attendant squashed my urbanex dreams.

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In case you were curious, here’s what it looked like before renovations(PHOTO CRED: PHILLY.CURBED)

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The hotel has a pretty wild history that includes the civil rights movement and a fanatic religious cult leader named Reverend Major Jealous Divine.

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PHOTO CRED: HIDDENCITYPHILA.ORG

When he purchased the high-rise building in 1948 he converted the “Lorraine Apartments” into one of the first racially integrated hotels in the city(which is totally awesome!). His hotel offered jobs, affordable food and housing to those who followed the teachings of his International Peace Mission..the name doesn’t SOUND far out at all, but if you take some time to Google Father Divine, you might start raising your eyebrows a bit. It was after his death in 1965, a former follower, Jim Jones attempted to take over the movement-unsuccessfully so. He eventually started his own cult in 1971 that lead a 600 person mass suicide in Guyana (source: untappedcities.com).

Today the hotel has kind of a pop culture appeal, you can purchase merchandise such as towels with the “Divine Lorraine” printed on them among other articles of clothing online, and of course as of 2017 the apartments underwent a huge redevelopment and can now be rented out. The building now houses a restaurant and cafe. I took these photos of the exterior and hope to return to visit the restaurant in the near future. As always, happy wandering!