The Richmond Generating Station, located along the Delaware River north of Philadelphia’s city center, was designed by architect John T. Windrim and engineer W.E. R. Elgin.
The station’s interior is defined by massive open spaces and the Turbine Hall was one of the largest open rooms ever designed at the time, modeled after the ancient Roman baths and illuminated with curved skylights along the cruciform ceiling 130 feet (39.5 meters) above the floor.
Water feed requirements of the high pressure boilers required extremely pure water. Since the water was taken directly from the Delaware River, a new set of system evaporators had to be added. The water was passed through strainers and filters, then softened, evaporated and condensed at a rate of 50,000 pounds (22,680 kilograms) of water per hour.
Each of the three turbine halls was designed to contain four tandem compound turbo-generators.
After the shutdown, the building was one of the locations used for the movie Twelve Monkeys and artifacts for the film can still be found throughout the structure.
After the steam plant was shut down in 1984, all of the jet units were sold and the metal in the plant was partially harvested for scrap. The building underwent a major asbestos abatement after it shut down. Tools can still be found where they were left; huge machines sit idle. Only the darkness and the rust betrays how long this place has sat unused.