By Derek Naber
I just got back from a wonderful trip to London, England where my wife and I were able to explore all of the cool sites and neighborhoods.
During this trip, there was one particular building that struck me, the Tate Modern, a free modern art gallery across the Thames River from St. Paul’s Cathedral. In researching this fascinating mid-century modern structure, I discovered that the building was the former Bankside Power Station (built in 1952 – the year Holladay way founded incidentally), which produced oil-fired power to London for thirty years. After the facility was closed, many developers considered demolishing the iconic structure, but by 1994, Tate Gallery had committed funding and efforts to revitalize the Bankside Power Station. The result of this adaptive reuse project has created a sensational public art gallery that attracts residents and tourists alike.
In touring Tate Modern a couple of weeks ago, I noted that the designers allocated the art gallery rooms to the sides of the building while leaving the central interior mostly unoccupied, which displays stunning views of the massive structure.
In applying this fun precedent to Central Greens, there is a 18,000 square foot, multi-story Old Powerhouse building sitting in the middle of the redevelopment area. The building has had some initial clean-up and environmental work (including asbestos removal), but for the most part, it is uninhabitable. With that said, the architecture of the exterior is striking and perhaps this building could also be utilized as a museum of some sort.
The former Central State Powerhouse still needs a lot of work, but with the help from other community partners, this building could have a new life.
Obviously, there are some interesting precedents out there on alternative reuses of powerhouses, but I am curious if anyone reading this article has seen some cool powerhouse reuses out there?
Feel free to provide links in the comment section!