Calumet: First and Forever

Chapter 4: Water Reclamation Plants

Calumet Power Plant

CFF-Photo 4.2.1
CFF-Photo 4.2.1

Photo 4.2.1. The Calumet Power Plant was used for standby power using diesel engine–driven electrical generators. Located east of the Calumet Sewage Pumping Station, construction is underway, November 17, 1920, looking north. Diesel fuel oil tanks are in an underground vault outside the west foundation wall. (MWRD photo 7908)

CFF-Photo 4.2.2
CFF-Photo 4.2.2

Photo 4.2.2. January 5, 1921. Looking southeast at the power plant, construction included an underground tunnel for employees to travel between the pumping station and power plant. A rail spur off the Illinois Central Railroad provided for construction material and equipment deliveries directly to the power plant. (MWRD photo 7972)

CFF-Photo 4.2.3
CFF-Photo 4.2.3

Photo 4.2.3. A mild winter allowed construction to proceed and by February 9, 1921, when this photo was taken, the building envelope was nearly enclosed. On the north face of the northeast corner of the building, the large louvered panel is the air intake for the diesel engine combustion and cooling and the electrical generator cooling. (MWRD photo 8029)

CFF-Photo 4.2.4
CFF-Photo 4.2.4

Photo 4.2.4. November 10, 1921. Each engine-generator set included a large cast iron flywheel. One half of a flywheel is shown, prior to assembly. (MWRD photo 8629)

CFF-Photo 4.2.5
CFF-Photo 4.2.5

Photo 4.2.5. Four diesel engines were installed, January 5, 1922. Operation of the engines required a different class of operating engineers different than what was needed for boilers and pumps. (MWRD photo 8726)

CFF-Photo 4.2.6
CFF-Photo 4.2.6

Photo 4.2.6. November 10, 1921. One generator. A common shaft connected one engine with one electrical generator. (MWRD photo 8631)

CFF-Photo 4.2.7
CFF-Photo 4.2.7

Photo 4.2.7. March 9, 1922. The manufacturers of the engines and generators were required to supervise installation by mechanical contractors. Manufacturer representatives are inspecting the headworks of an engine while two mechanics take a break. (MWRD photo 8789)

CFF-Photo 4.2.8
CFF-Photo 4.2.8

Photo 4.2.8. March 9, 1922. The engine-generator sets supplied sufficient power for the Calumet Plant and nearby pumping station. However, line power from Commonwealth Edison was reliable and the power plant was never called into service. Except for occasional testing, the equipment stood idle. (MWRD photo 8790)

CFF-Photo 4.2.9
CFF-Photo 4.2.9

Photo 4.2.9. The Calumet Power Plant was on standby service, as shown on May 7, 1923, until 1936, after which the engines and generators were sold and removed. The building was used for storage until 1996, when it was demolished. (MWRD photo 9705)