Comparable to a scene from Metropolis was the sight that greeted a CRIMSON reporter as he stepped into the main room of the Elevated Power Plant on Boylston Street, now in the process of being torn down. Through the hazy air, filled with the fumes of acetylene torches and the odor of lubricating oil, the towering shapes of huge grey generators loomed above the forms of workmen, busily engaged in the job of stripping former dynamos of their essential parts.
In the foreground was a large cylinder, its sides removed, revealing a substantial piston rod about five inches in diameter. Just beyond was a large square hole in the floor, affording a glance down to the gloomy interior of the plant through a maze of pipes.
At the far end of the room, a travelling crane was busily in action, its massive hook swinging in long even arcs as the operator, perched in a box-like contraption 40 feet above the floor, controlled the apparatus with a small hand switch.
According to an operator working in the central car of the crane, there is 3000 tons of metal to be removed from the building, an amount which is worth $60,000. The metal taken from the plant is sent partly to Pittsburg and partly to France, under a contract with the French that calls for a million tons of metal. In demolishing the massive power plant machines, weighing 500 tons each, the cylinders are removed first, being toppled over by the crane after the bolts have been burnt away. Once during the operation, a piece weighing 22 tons had been raised 25 feet above title floor by the crane, when the cables supporting it broke, and the metal went hurtling to the ground. Striking the concrete flooring, heavily reenforced to bear the heavy engines the 22 ton mass went through to the cellar.