Monday, 21 September 2009

A thing of beauty is a joy ... until renovated!


Built in 1912 and decommissioned in 1983, White Bay was a coal-fired power station built to add more electricity to the Sydney grid with the extension of the urban train system and the immense popularity of the tramways system. The site covers 3.9 hectacres of land about 4km from the city centre. It is located in the suburb of Rozelle on the shores the Bay. It is no longer accessible to the public although occasionally the Historic Houses Trust conducts tours but, as with tours of the Tank Stream, these tours sell as rapidly as Carols at Kings!


The skeletal remains have settled further into the primordial slime since '83. That is a long time with no decision on the future of the site. In 2000 ownership passed from the NSW Electricity Commission (its heirs and successors forever!) to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority for a mere $4m AUD. Its zoning means that it cannot be used for housing.

Hah ... that is why it has sat there that long! Waiting for a rezoning. Glad that Frankie Sartor no longer has control of that particular function of state government. See what I can see in this final image? A graveyard for old boats: Kanangra, Waratah, John Oxley. Now where did I put those fencing wire snippers?

14 comments:

Vogon Poet said...

Let's hope for something like Tate Modern. Even for the Battersea Power Station the proposed plans aren't so bad.
And all those old boats... what an adventure to go there!

Jacob said...

'Tis difficult for city "fathers" to make decisions if to wait might mean a further feathering of the nests of the people who put them into office and see that they're well taken care of through retirement.

Great series of photos!

DelBoy said...

Mmmmm, more rust for Julie! Some great shots. Love the atmosphere of urban decay!

Joan Elizabeth said...

This old power station does have a very nice location ... rust is also nice but there gets a point where a building needs to be put to some useful purpose.

Leif Hagen said...

Is that brown color or "rust" color? Great historic, industrial places!

diane said...

You certainly can find some interesting buildings and boats to photograph. I would like to see it put to use rather than drop dead with decay. In Brisbane they turned a Power House into an Arty theatre but didn't alter the outside of the building very much.

brattcat said...

I can almost hear it speaking, softly, gruffly, its breath like dust.

Julie said...

Yes, I agree. To put it to use is important. But not as a shopping mall. Not as a wholesale warehouse. Possibly converted into apartments - not torn down, though.

Not to Meriton. Not to Westfield.
To have it joined to the Glebe side by extending the lite-rail would be good. To have a ferry route join it to the Quay would be good. To have a walking track from there, across a swing bridge to the old Glebe Island Bridge through to the Pyrmont area would be excellent.

But what major tenant to have? Can't see an art gallery that is not already well-housed. Two museums are well-housed. The arts precint down at Millers Point is well-housed. The ABC seems okay.

I wonder ...

How about a financial district? Take the STock Exchange out there ... add a couple of bank head offices. Something cohesive and identifiable ... not tawdry shops that change hands every 6 months because they go broke.

Julie said...

Forgot to add: when I come back from Tassie, I will do some posts about the boat grave-yard (Rozelle side)... and birth-yard (Glebe side).

Lois said...

Very nice shots Julie, but sad too.

James said...

I think it's wonderful. I love old decaying buildings.

Sue said...

It looks like that place was quite busy in its day. It has such character! I love the photos! The boats are awesome, also.

AB said...

So it is not just Saarland, where you can find rusty, abandoned factories!

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

What a rusty industrial beauty! Rust and decay are the urban photographers best friend, aren't they?