CEDC to Unveil Collegeville’s First Mural on One of the Powerhouse’s Concrete Buttresses
At 10 a.m. on Oct. 4th a Ceremony Will Take Place in the Back of the Collegeville Farmers’ Market in DaVinci’s Parking Lot; Meet the Artists!
Collegeville’s first mural, which celebrates our borough’s rich history, was commissioned by the Collegeville Economic Development Corp. (CEDC) and made possible through donations. The CEDC’s Design Committee partnered with the owners of the Powerhouse building to select one of the concrete buttresses behind the building as the mural’s location. The art installation was painted by Philadelphia area artists Michael Adams and Susannah Thomer.
History of the Powerhouse and Purpose of the Buttresses
In the late 1800s, concrete buttresses were erected behind The Powerhouse building at 45 First Ave. in Collegeville to support train tracks for an industrial spur for the delivery of coal. Cars were backed in and the coal was dumped from the elevated tracks down into bins. The coal powered generators at The Powerhouse to produce electricity to help power the trolley line that ran from Philadelphia through Collegeville to Pottstown.
Then in 1933, the trolleys were replaced by busses, and W. H. Gristock’s Sons, Coal, Lumber and Feed business took over The Powerhouse. Now in addition to coal, the railway cars delivered lumber, sand and feed for the Gristock’s Supply business. After the trains stopped running in 1955, the train track fell into ruin, and only the concrete buttresses and Powerhouse building remained. Today The Powerhouse is owned by the Gorski Family and serves as Antique and Flea Market open Sunday afternoons.