The Stanton Substation
Sitting quietly at the northwestern terminus of Essex Street is the Stanton Substation, a remnant of a bygone Gotham. And it’s too easy to walk past without even noticing. This piece of ephemeral New York is one of many such stations once responsible for powering the whole subway infrastructure. Unsung underground heroes, if you will. Each outpost had complex equipment for the job, including 125,000-pound rotary converters, and required a round-the-clock staff for proper operation. However, with the advent of more complex technology, such power posts were gradually phased out of the system, and in 1999, the last manual station was closed forever.
What is a Rotary Converter [nycsubway.org]
New York’s Forgotten Substations by Christopher Payne [Amazon.com]