Moran Plant

The Moran Plant, built in 1953, is a historic coal fired power plant known for its architecture and innovation. It is currently a derelict structure located on Burlington's waterfront in the heart of downtown.


Current Activity

Join CEDO and the Parks, Arts, and Culture Committee for a presentation and community conversation on a new concept for Moran - FRAME on January 30, 2019 at 6:00 pm in Contois Auditorium in City Hall, 149 Church Street.

CEDO provided an update on the status of the Moran Plant site, per the request of the Mayor and City Council, at the December 10, 2018 City Council meeting. The basis of this approach is rooted in the 2014 Ballot question which stated if …

the City Council determines that the proposed New Moran project cannot be reasonably accomplished, the City Council shall be authorized to utilize tax increment funds from the Waterfront TIF District for payment of indebtedness, direct or related costs of the demolition of the Moran building and site stabilization in accordance with the public trust doctrine.”

Full ballot language can be viewed here.  

CEDO presented the FRAME concept that does the following:

  • Demolishes a portion of the existing building
  • Activates a derelict site
  • Improves public access to the waterfront
  • Creates a seasonal boardwalk integrating closely with other waterfront facilities
  • Retains the character of an important historic building
  • Creates an amazing public gathering space on the waterfront
  • Stabilizes the site and creates a platform for possible future phases, such as elevated viewing decks, winter ice rink, summer stage, large children’s playground, etc.
  • Delivers significantly greater value than demolition for roughly the same cost of full demolition

The FRAME concept is a partial demolition of Moran to reveal a community icon. The concept eliminates two significant cost drivers of all previous plans: winterization of the building envelope and reinforcement of brick for seismic control.

The principal architectural elements of the concept include:

  • Showcase structural steel: most of the brick exterior is removed to reveal the building’s steel superstructure – while retaining Moran’s distinctive tiered shape
  • One main floor, slab on grade: the basement level will be filled in; other levels will be deconstructed; the main floor will be fully accessible
  • Covered space: covered open-air atrium to provide shade from the sun and protection from rain; flexible venue for between 200-1800 people
  • Strong connections: there will be significant site work to draw visitors from the bike path and to connect with adjacent uses
  • Event ready with basic amenities: Gender neutral restrooms, power connection for events, and water
  • Incorporates art and lighting to enhance the experience

The full presentation to City Council on December 10, 2017 can be viewed here. The City Council referred this effort to the Parks, Arts and Culture Committee (PACC) of the City Council. On January 30, 2019, the PACC will hold a public meeting devoted to a presentation and community conversation on a new concept for Moran - FRAME in Contois Auditorium in City Hall, 149 Church Street.  

Additionally, in 2017, the Administration charged CEDO with developing the Moran Municipal Generating Station Deconstruction and Demolition Study. This study provides detailed information regarding the costs for various demolition scenarios and steps needed for any redevelopment of the site. The demolition costs as stated in the report in 2017 dollars could range from $3,983,773 to $5,414,966 for Scenario 1 (building would be demolished to current grade) to $8,745,230 and $10,716,661 for Scenario 4 which requires extensive environmental remediation.


We want your feedback

If you have comments on the FRAME concept presented above, please share your thoughts …


Previous Activity

You can view Mayor Weinberger's "Open Letter to the People of Burlington" of July 2, 2012, about the future direction for the redevelopment of the Moran site here.  

As part of the Moran Revisioned process, the City is launching the Waterfront and Downtown Public Investment Action Plan (PIAP).

Previous Moran Plant Re-visioning?

This is an expansion of the re-visioning process for the Moran Plant that places it within a more comprehensive approach to public investment on the waterfront. The Moran Plant is located within the Waterfront TIF district and redevelopment proposals for it will be considered as part of this process. We anticipate that one or more concepts for the building and site will be considered as part of this process. The PIAP will ensure that potential public investment in Moran will be weighed against a wide range of other public investment opportunities.

The Public Investment Action Plan process ( ) concluded in 2013.  This process identified a project known as New Moran, Inc. to advance to a public vote in March of 2014.

In the fall of 2016, the City issued a Request for Qualification (RFQ) and Detailed Letter of Approach for the redevelopment and operation of the Moran Plant and associated lands. 

A redacted version of the proposal submitted by New Moran, Inc. on December 22, 2016 is here

In September of 2017, the Mayor determined insufficient progress was made on this proposal and terminated this effort. To see the full press release, click here.