City Light Plant

An evening on the lake reveals a sparkling city skyline. One hundred years ago, most of the shoreline was dark. You may have seen flames shooting from the gas plant burners at the north end of the lake or spied glowing brick ovens along the western shore. At the southeastern corner of the lake, golden light bulbs spelled out “CITY LIGHT” below the six smokestacks on the City Light Plant, built in 1913 (now ZymoGenetics). After most households were in bed, a viaduct drew water from the reservoir in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill and fueled water-powered generators, helping to increase the glow of an developing city.