New Exhibit: Westinghouse Power Generation in Orlando – The Early Days

The national headquarters of Siemens Energy, Inc., located in east Orlando on Alafaya Trail near University Boulevard—across from the University of Central Florida—is a major part of the Central Florida business community. Almost forgotten, however, is that the original developer and occupant of the site was the Power Generation Business Unit (PGBU) of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, one of America’s foremost industrial companies, whose history spanned a 100-year period from the late 1800s until the late 1990s. In 1998, PGBU was acquired by Siemens, AG of Germany.

New Collection: Westinghouse Electric Collection

Originally called the Westinghouse Electric Company, George Westinghouse (1846-1914) founded his manufacturing company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 8, 1886. In 1889, he renamed his business the The Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. Westinghouse’s primary products include turbines, generators, motors and switchgear related to the generation, transmission, and use of electricity. The company changed its name to Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1945. In 1981, the company began to relocate its divison headquarters for the Steam-Turbine Generator Divisions from Pennsylvania (turbines from Lester and generators from Pittsburgh) to Orlando, Florida. The Power Generation Business Unit (PGBU) building was located in The Quadrangle, at 4400 Alafaya Trail. Originally, Westinghouse had purchased a large plot of land for future development that extended westward from Alafaya Trail to Rouse Road. The original headquarters was located on several acres of that land parcel close to Alafaya Trail.

In 1994, after a major corporate management shuffling, and a top-level decision to change from an industrial manufacturing company to primarily a broadcasting/communications company, Westinghouse bought the CBS Network and changed its name to the CBS Corporation. As the PGBU grew in size, other buildings in the area were leased and then, after PGBU was sold to Siemens Corporation of Germany in 1998, additional buildings (Quad II and Quad III) were added to the original complex at the Quadrangle. From 1998 to 2003 the Orlando operation was known as Siemens-Westinghouse, after which the name of Westinghouse was dropped. The operation has been known as Siemens from that time forward.

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