Capitol Hill Restoration Society

Power & Light – Electricity on Capitol Hill – Preservation Cafe

Posted on February 20th, 2024 by Elizabeth Nelson

Joanna Kendig will present a virtual Preservation Café “Power and Light: the Story of Electricity on Capitol Hill,” Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 6:30 pm. The presentation will be recorded.

Electricity powers our modern world, but we only recently “discovered” how to harness it in the service of humanity during the 19th century. In this presentation, Joanna Kendig provides a general overview of electric systems development and the evolution of services most of us now take for granted.

Capitol Power Plant 1910

Multiple private enterprises emerged during the late 1800s using electricity to serve our growing city. They built trolley lines and powered street lights. Companies expanded, merged, and bought each other out. The White House got electrified. Our historic rowhouses traded gas lights for electric light bulbs and, sometimes, coal stoves for electric ranges.

Kendig will explore the physical changes to power stations and substation buildings, touch on the expansion of distribution lines (underground!), and bring us into the 21st century. Our electric grid is still evolving—as our laws and consequent practices lead us toward a more electrically sustainable future. We hope you can join us!

Reservations are available through Eventbrite.

PEPCO ad 1906

Our CHRS Preservation Cafés are free to both CHRS members and non members.