The Moran FRAME
City of Burlington
The Moran FRAME is an iconic landmark and public space at Waterworks Park in Burlington, Vermont.
The FRAME features the restored steel superstructure of the former J. Edward Moran Municipal Generating Station, a coal-fired utility plant first commissioned in 1952. The plant closed in 1986, and for over 30 years multiple groups proposed alternative uses for the building and site.
A breakthrough came in 2018, when the City of Burlington, community leaders, and Freeman French Freeman devised a plan to transform the building into a multipurpose public space. Phase One of the project deconstructed all of the building except for its steel frame, removed toxic materials from the structure and site, and created new paths at ground level to lead visitors through the steel and concrete elements that remain.
The result is a striking work of art and public gathering place designed to evolve over time, based on community needs and desires. The site could be used for art installations, public events, seasonal markets, or a myriad of other uses. The City and a newly formed nonprofit, Friends of the FRAME, are already planning a number of additions to the site including custom-designed swings and illuminated signage.
“Our ultimate hope for the FRAME is that it never loses that intangible sense of possibility and promise that eventually led us to this moment,” said Zach Campbell, founder and director of Friends of the FRAME. “And that for decades captured the hearts and imaginations of countless dreamers – inspiring bold ideas, and bringing people together in substantive, meaningful ways. That is the true energy future of this power plant, and when that energy can be harnessed into action there is almost no limit to its potential.”