In 1880s electric lighting gained popularity in Russia. Nevertheless, kerosene light posts were still employed to light the streets of our governorate city until the late 19th century. The necessity to construct a power station was becoming increasingly obvious to the city Duma. The issue was discussed at the city administration meetings on numerous occasions.
In 1896 the concession to build the first power station was granted to Nikolay Konshin, Ufa engineer and entrepreneur, representative of "Dufflon and Konstantynowicz" firm in Saint-Petersburg and "Sautet, Harle and Co" in Paris.
The red brick building of the power station featuring very unusual "industrial" architecture (the project author is unknown) was erected in the second district on Alexandrovskaya Street. Researchers claim that the building bears some distinct features of Art Nouveau.
Konshin conceived his power station as a side-wing of the ancient brick building of the Second firefigthing and police station with a fire tower. That is why both buildings share the same street number 37 along the Karla Marksa (former Alexandrovskaya) Street.
It took approximately two years to erect the building. The power station produced electricity for the first time on February 1, 1898. Back then the station was equipped with several stationary engines operating from oil and direct current generators. Konshin used a steam boiler of the former torpedo boat. The power station capacity was very moderate: 560 kW to light 12 thousand incandescent lamps and 300 arc lamps. It allowed, though, establishing an urban electric network. The total wiring length equaled approximately 10 versts (almost 10.7 km).
City administration concluded a contract with Konshin suggesting that the latter shall receive forty kopecks per kilowatt-hour (in Moscow, though, the payment was much lower equalling 7 kopecks).
It is interesting that the short lane between Alexandrovskaya and Gogolevskaya Streets was named after the power station: Elektricheskiy pereulok. Just before the construction of the station there was a small lake across the lane, which was filled up. The name Elektricheskiy pereulok stuck, even though its last buildings were removed in 1970s.
In 1916 the power station was purchased by the city administration at the price of 275 thousand rubles.
In July 1918 Konshin had to go through a black ordeal. Being a Constitutional Democrat and Chairman of the Trade and Industry Union, he was put among other 98 hostages (prominent noblemen, public figures, militarymen and intellectuals) into the "death barge", a floating prison on the Belaya River. For several months he lived on the pain of death (part of the hostages was murdered). In October 1918 the hostages were exchanged on bolshevick's wives, and Konshin was free again. His life after the incident remains obscure. The year 1921 was the last time he was seen in Ufa.
The power station on Alexandrovskaya Street existed until the construction of the central power station on Nepeitseva hill in 1930s. Until recently the building was used as a transformer substation.
Unfortunately, in 1960s the buildings of the Second firefigthing and police station as well as Konshin's power station were deprived of their historical exterior. A third floor made of modern brick was added to the building. Besides, Ufaselmash Plant built its facilities from the northern and easterns sides of the power station. In 1999 the plant closed down. Motion-picture studio Bashkortostan was the last to rent the facilities until the end of the year 2000. The whole quarter of the liqudated plant was given to the Republican Foundation for Small Business Support. Despite the added storey the power station façade retained its exterior. The initial brickwork was plastered, though.