Publication Date


Committee Members

Dr. Elisabeth M. Hamin - Chair, Dr. John R. Mullin - Member


This master's project analyses the potential reuse of the Salem Harbor Power Station. The station is slated to close June 2014. The closure is an opportunity for Salem, Massachusetts, to redevelop this site and to envision its future socio-economic possibilities. In this project, the parameters of potential development are reviewed, potential reuses are examined, and the best redevelopment strategies are presented.

This project uses five basic steps. The first was a literature review that focuses on planning concepts for the waterfront industrial landscape and its redevelopment. The second is a site analysis of the power plant that discusses the characteristics of the study area and its abutters. Special attention will be paid to regulatory factors such as Chapter 91, Designated Port Areas, waterways regulations, and easements while conversations with local stakeholders were held to grasp the professional and public perspective. In addition, socio-economic anchors currently present within the community were identifying future uses and developments can proceed.

Foreshadowing my conclusion, through my five steps of research have brought me to believe the best possible reuse of the Salem power plant will be to convert the plant into a natural gas fired power plant. This would continue to use the existing easements and contribute to Salem's tax base. It would also require significantly less space allowing for the coal pile and oil tank farm to be removed and the brownfield mitigated. This future vacant space should be converted to regional cruise ship terminal that would also service the Salem/Boston ferry service. Any additional area could be landscaped into recreational areas allowing for public access or be used to develop Salem's maritime infrastructure.