The Moran Plant, built in 1953, is a historical 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. For decades, the City has tried to solve the problem of reintegrating the former Moran Plant and we now believe that we have a solution. In December 2019, CEDO updated the City Council on the Moran Frame Project and committed to delivering a summary of the project status in early 2020.

CEDO engaged in a thorough process with our construction partners to review construction bids for the demolition, hazardous building material abatement, site remediation, and buildout required to realize the Moran Frame concept. Prior to 2019, a robust hazardous building materials inspection had not been performed and therefore prior estimates were based off assumption, which in some cases were overly optimistic. Assessment work done in the fall of 2019 worked to fully characterize the hazardous building materials at the site and confirmed a considerable amount of asbestos, lead-based paint, and PCB laden coatings.  These contaminants drove the environmental demolition, abatement, and remediation costs of the project significantly higher than originally assumed.

Even in light of these increased costs, in February 2020 the City reached a solution that is a simplified and phased approach to the previously approved Moran Frame concept. In order to take long-awaited action at the Moran site, CEDO accomplished two critical steps, the first being to fully characterize the real costs of the Frame Project, including construction and environmental remediation. CEDO then worked through the implications of the significantly higher costs to the project and developed a phased approach to stabilizing and preserving the Moran Frame. See below for more details. 



2019 Site Plan

Site Data

History & Past Ideas


On February 18th, 2020, Burlington's City Council approved advancing phase 1a of the Moran- FRAME project. The project budget is $6.55 million, funded by $3.5 million from the Waterfront TIF district, a $2 million redevelopment loan from the federal Agency of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and a planned settlement of no less than $950,000 from the Burlington Electric Department for environmental costs. Supporting documents can be found here:

Resolution for Moran Frame Project - Issuance of Waterfront TIF Bonds Adopted 2/19/19

Resolution Authorization to Proceed with Moran FRAME Project Adopted 2/19/19

On August 19th, 2020, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced that the City of Burlington has broken ground to transform the Moran Municipal Generating Station into the Moran Frame. After more than 30 years of ideas and efforts to reimagine the long-abandoned former coal plant, the Moran Frame will restore public access to this part of the waterfront, stabilize and activate a derelict site, and create an iconic Burlington landmark that alludes to the area’s industrial past. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, and will be managed when finished by the Waterfront division of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront.  

Moran Frame, Phase 1a


The first phase (1a) that has been appoved by Burlington City Council will provide a clean, safe frame that is open to the public. This phase is currently in progress.

This phase of the Moran Frame project will:

  • Peel back the brick and concrete exterior of the Moran Plant, thereby avoiding the significant expense of stabilizing the bricks, and revealing the steel frame beneath
  • Stabilize the steel frame
  • Abate and remediate hazardous building materials, including asbestos, lead paint, and PCB paint, in order to make the site stable and safe for the public
  • Complete remediation of the soils at the Moran site and, in so doing, finish remediation of soils throughout the Waterfront Access North area
  • Create an at-grade, level grassy area underneath and around the Moran Frame
  • Introduce sub-grade utilities to help support future, additional resources as part of the Moran Frame


Once this phase is complete, we hope to get the next phase of the Moran Frame construction approved, called Phase 1b.


Moran Frame, Phase 1b 


The hope for phase 1b, pending approval, is to include finishes and public park amenities. These include restrooms, lighting, paths, utilities, roofing, decorative replacement hoppers and more.  

The FRAME concept accomplishes the following:

  • Demolishes a portion of the existing building
  • Activates and stabilizes a derelict site
  • Improves public access to the waterfront
  • Creates a seasonal boardwalk/path integrating closely with other waterfront facilities
  • Retains the iconic profile 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, a winter ice rink, summer stage, large children's playground, etc.