Perched on the edge of the Mississippi River, twin smokestacks still tower over the century-old Market Street Power Plant, a massive complex that once electrified the city. Today, the abandoned historic property is a remnant of a bygone era that has waited for redevelopment for decades.

This week, PRC Executive Director Danielle Del Sol and members of the PRC Board of Directors toured the power plant at the invitation of local developers Louis Lauricella and Brian Gibbs.

The developers’ representative Peter Aamodt led the PRC through the maze-like boarded-up complex and explained the efforts they have made to secure the building and prepare it for redevelopment. The developers are still working out plans for the property’s future and are engaging community groups, neighborhood associations and stakeholders as they work through the hurdles to bring the hulking complex back to life.

The power plant dates to the turn of the 20th century, with the first building constructed circa 1901. A Times-Picayune article from 1905 called it “the largest electrical generating plant in the South.” It was operated by the New Orleans Public Service Inc. — the predecessor to Entergy New Orleans — until 1973.

Aamodt said the developers have spent millions on surveying, engineering studies, debris removal, environmental investigation, preliminary design and security measures for the property, which has been vacant for decades. They have added fencing and enhanced security to curb trespassing and other illegal activity.

Walking through the complex, though, it’s easy to imagine the buildings buzzing again with activity. With sweeping views of the city, the property has an envious riverfront location and historic industrial architecture. Aamodt said the developers are exploring many options for the future of the power plant, but the goal is to have it once again be an asset to the city.