De-Generation: Decades of decline in Ontario?s electric power architecture - architecture and design

De-Generation: Decades of decline in Ontario?s electric power architecture



More than a century ago, Nikola Tesla fought with Thomas Edison about whose hydro-electric power technology would be adopted?Tesla?s alternating current (AC) or Edison?s direct current (DC). Tesla eventually prevailed, but Edison undermined him for several years by instilling public fear about electricity?s safety. At Niagara Falls, high architectural style for the emerging industry aimed to assuage that fear. It was the first in a fascinating?and largely unexamined?lineage of monumental buildings for power generation in Ontario.
Toronto Power Generating Station at Niagara
The neoclassical Toronto Power Generating Station at Niagara (1906) was one of the area?s earliest electrical utility buildings, and the first Canadian-owned facility of its kind. Sited just above Niagara Falls, it made a bold stylistic statement, and appeared as solid as a bank. Fluted columns, parapets, and ornate friezes were among the classical staples adopted by a modern industry whose foundations sprang from radical scientific invention. In effect, major financiers in an experimental venture downplayed the reality of investor risk and fledgling technology with a visual air of established permanence. As the risks diminished over time, so did the stylistic flourishes. Ongoing technological development over the following decades improved the industry?s reliability to the point where it could relax about risk and image, and eventually shroud its generators in plain, cheap boxes. In the earliest structur...
_MFUENTENOTICIAS canadian architect
_MURLDELAFUENTE https://www.canadianarchitect.com/

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