1511 White Bay Power Station
White Bay Power Station
White Bay Power Station was built in three distinct phases of construction, starting from 1912 onwards, as a means of producing power to supply Sydney’s ever growing railway and tramway system.
From 1912 to 1917, the first stage of construction of White Bay Power Station took place, building half of the turbine hall, the switch house and no.1 boiler house.
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The second phase, between 1923 and 1928, saw the creation of an extension, built using steel framing and reinforced concrete rather than brick as was used in the first phase of building.
The third phase of construction took place from 1950 to 1958 and saw a steel framed boiler house supersede the existing 1920s block no.1. The second boiler house was later demolished.
The power station was operational from 1917 until it was decommissioned in 1984, bringing with it the end of an era. White Bay Power Station was the longest serving power station in Sydney and is now the only surviving example of an intact, coal-fired power station from the twentieth century which serviced the expansion of Australia’s major cities.
The remaining site consists of two steel stacks, the coal handling unit, boiler house, turbine hall, switch house and control room. The power station also holds a complete boiler, turbine and condenser set as an example of the technology from the period.
The site is still in exceptional condition considering the amount of time it has been sitting idle. Testament to the effort that has been made to preserve this iconic part of the inner west landscape.
The building and the encircling area are set to undergo an extensive transformation which will open up the White Bay waterfront to the public for the first time in its history and, see the power station itself adapted for re-use as a technological hub for Sydney.
I’ve always wondered what was inside the power station after passing it for decades while travelling down Victoria road. It’s hard not to be fascinated, even just looking at the building from the footpath.
So in having said that, I’d like to share this with anyone else who might have wondered in the last 98 years, what White Bay Power Station looks like on the interior.
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