CLEVELAND - If you've ever driven on the Shoreway, chances are a large brick building with smokestacks has caught your eyes.
The Lake Shore power plant became a symbol of prosperity and power in the early 1900s. It was a piece of Cleveland's pride. It did its job and has now reached the end of its life cycle.
Ever wonder what it looks like inside? Here’s a peek.
“For me personally, it was very emotional day when we shut it,” said Unit Plant Engineer Joe Cerer. “When we pressed the final shutdown button on the generator, it was a sad day. It was a sad day. You know, and it is hard to see it go."
Joe Cerer spent more than a decade at the Lake Shore power plant. He remembers when this place reverberated noise.
“The grinding of the coal,” said Cerer. “The steam generating."
It all stopped on April 11, 2015.
For more than 100 years, it powered houses and businesses in Cleveland. At its peak, it supplied about a thousand homes an hour with more than 350 employees.
“It was great over the years to know all these people,” said Cerer. “I was very proud to be part of it."
“Just being a piece of history,” said Project Engineer Jonathan Estremera. “It was pretty impressive how it has changed over the years."
It is changing shape once again.
"They are torch cutting the turbines and the generator into smaller manageable pieces,” said Estremera.
Soon heavy equipment will move in to haul the scrape out and explosives will bring down the stack. By summertime, this familiar sight will no longer be seen. Instead, a green space will be in its place.
“We are open to future development of the site,” said Estremera.
Until then, capturing what is within these walls allows people to see what has been there all along but will no longer be. A piece of history. A capsule of memories. A sign of the times...
“You know it is hard to see it go,” said Cerer. “I remember going to Cleveland State and watching the smokestacks coming out and never knew what really was here."
And now he will always know--and so will you.
It cost $14 million to build the power plant back in 1911. That equates to about $350 million today.