Woolen Mills Power Plant

The Charlottesville & Albemarle Railway Power Plant was built in 1914 and provided power to Charlottesville.

The towering smoke stack can be seen from I-64 when passing over the Rivanna River. The photo above was taken when the plant was still in use. To the left you can see an elevated railway. That was where they unloaded the trains to be transported into the plant. Today the concrete supports still stand as well as the dock that they unloaded on.

The roof has now collapsed with some things precariously perched on beams. The floor has also fallen through in some places from the roof falling on it. Trees have grown up from the floor giving this place a spectacular sight that shows how nature can take back anything it wants to. The floor is perfectly safe everywhere else where it's still intact. However, most places in the lower level are unreachable due to piles of rubble blocking the path. To the right you can see the entrance to the smoke stack. Some of the bricks have fallen out of the wall making it very easy to climb into. Once inside you'll see a rope hanging from about 7 feet up. Climb the rope to get to the handles and you'll be able to climb all the way to the top. Do beware that many birds and bats are waiting at the top to jump out and surprise you.

This is one of the easiest places to get to that I've seen. There is even a trail going down from under the loading thing by the tracks to the building. I highly suggest that you don't go though because it's trespassing to be in the building and to walk down the tracks to get to it. Also there is a chance that you can get hurt going here.


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