Conrad Milster, Pratt Institute’s chief engineer, has worked in the Brooklyn power plant nearly his entire adult life. Starting as a mechanic in 1958, he later became one of only four chief engineers in the plant’s 127-year history, taking over the official duties in 1965. He’s been there ever since.
For the last six decades, Milster (now 79 years old) has lovingly maintained the nineteenth century steam engines that provide heat and hot water to Pratt’s campus. “We have our hands full,” says Milster. “If the plant stops in the winter, Pratt stops.”
In addition, Conrad is the person behind the infamous “Pratt Cats,” responsible for the 12-14 felines that wander the campus and call the steam plant home.
An important figure in Pratt’s history, Milster has extended his impact on the Pratt community through a generous gift—the Phyllis and Conrad Milster Endowed Scholarship—that provides scholarships in perpetuity to students in Pratt’s Industrial Design program. The scholarship is named for Milster and his late wife, Phyllis, who passed away in 2011.
Filmed by Dustin Cohen, Autumn Eakin, and Christine Ng. Edited by Saela Davis. Coloring by Daniel Silverman at MPC. Sound Editing/Re-Recording by Chris Foster. And special thanks to Greencard Pictures, MergeLeft Reps, and Pratt Institute.
See more photos here: dustincohen.com/STORIES/CONRAD-&-THE-STEAMPLANT/1/thumbs