Shaw Lane Power Plant

North of Shaw Lane and West of Red Cedar Road (SE of Spartan Stadium)

Coal-fired Power and Steam Plant


West (Back) Elevation

Photo taken by Nathan Holth




This power plant built beautifully in the Collegiate Gothic style provided power to the university until the much larger Simon Power Plant took over duties in the 1960s and 1970s. Today the power plant no longer generates power. Most of it is unused and abandoned but it is reportedly still used as a small electrical substation.

The building reportedly cost $1,183,900 to construct and has 40,661 Gross Square Feet and 33,461 Interior Square Feet. It is listed as having seven floors and a basement.

Part of the power plant, the iconic smokestack with MSC (Michigan State College) has been a recognizable and symbolic reminder of the university's roots and its former name. Its proximity to Spartan Stadium has helped keep it in the public eye. Despite its fame, MSU in a short-sighted decision plans to demolish the smokestack. The main reason given was that it would have cost slightly more to restore the smokestack.

Update Log 

  • April 7, 2011: Added by Nathan Holth