Each year, Pratt engineer Conrad Milster puts on an amazing steam whistle show on campus on New Year’s Eve at midnight. For some reason, I’ve never heard them sound! I’ve seen the smoke from my window during test runs, but have yet to venture over for the official show.
The steam whistles were installed in 1900 to power the campus. They remained in use until a few years ago (they were still operating two campus elevators!).
Milster has maintained the steam plant since 1965, and has been conducting the midnight show for years. The NYT listed it here, back in 1980 (last listing on page). Also check out this YouTube video of last year’s presentation.
The steam plant at Pratt is still in its original condition, and was declared a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1977.
Check it out tonight!