New Substation at Prospect and Scott – TOD?

December 13, 2011

Last year I wrote about the demolition of some old industrial buildings in the block bounded by Prospect Ave, Bernard St, Spring Ave, and the railroad tracks.

Site of New Substation Before Demolition

At the time I originally noticed the demolition I was unsure of its purpose, but speculated that this had something to do with work on the Grand viaduct and Metrolink station.  However disappointed I was about the clearing of this site, the buildings were ill-suited to reuse.  The old May Company warehouse at Market and Spring was freshly renovated, and I was hoping that The Armory would be next.  The idea that a new and improved Metrolink station could attract transit oriented development there was too exciting to ignore.

Work on the New Substation

Unfortunately, upon returning to the site a couple of weeks ago, I found that a tall, permanent fence, topped with barbed wire was being installed all around the block.   Workers on the site then confirmed to me that they were constructing an electrical substation.  Even to those who considered the block’s previous occupant an eyesore, a substation will almost certainly be uglier.


  1. ugh… i certainly hope this doesn’t spell doom for the Armory. it’s location – now 10 feet from both a major highway and an electrical substation – has just managed to get worse.

  2. While you may not like the look of that substation, how about total darkness for everything the existing sub feeds. The old sub was seismically unstable and was falling apart every year. The new sub funded hundreds of jobs and is an investment in the area.

    To me the substation is a great expression of industrial design.

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective Steve. I certainly appreciate electricity but would prefer to have substations like this in less prominent locations.

      • I am not sure how much less prominent you can get. It is in a complete industrial area. There is no residential anywhere close. Raised Highway to north, half dozen rail lines to the south, back side of good will and cabinet company on east and west. Seems like a GREAT place to put it. I guess we could have put it in shaw or slu campus.

      • I guess I just see the area differently and am thinking ahead to possibilities that may arise after the new Scott Transit Plaza is completed.

        Sent from my iPhone

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