Skip to main content

Detroit Edison District

Detroit Edison District Heating System
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Environmental ControlEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 19032000 Second StreetDetroitState: MIZip: 48226Country: USAWebsite:, Holly, Birdsill

The concept of heating a number of buildings in the core area of a city from a single heating plant was introduced into the United States by Birdsill Holly at Lockport, New York, in 1877. The gain in thermal efficiency of a single large steam plant over a series of small isolated boilers led to widespread commercial installation of district heating. Organized by the Detroit Edison Company, the Central Heating Company began service here in 1903, supplying twelve customers with steam piped from the Edison Company's Willis Avenue Plant. Today's greatly enlarged system continues in operation.

Image Credit: Courtesy ASMEImage Caption: Detroit Edison District Heating SystemEra_date_from: 1903
Subscribe to Detroit Edison District

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support this 70-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.


Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.