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Restoration of Cockatoo Island’s iconic Powerhouse underway

The Harbour Trust has received a grant to help fund the restoration of one of Cockatoo Island’s most iconic buildings.

Dating back to 1918, the coal-fired Powerhouse was constructed to satisfy the power, lighting and hydraulic needs of the island’s dockyard. It remained the sole source of power for the dockyard until September 1937 when electricity was introduced to the island.

Although the boiler house and steam turbines were removed during the 1960s, the Powerhouse is otherwise intact and its brick chimney remains a striking feature of the city’s skyline. The Powerhouse is currently closed to the public.

The funding made available to the Harbour Trust under the National Historic Grants Funding Program, will enable us to undertake the following works with respect to the Powerhouse:

  • External window restoration and painting
  • Installation of new rainwater goods including downpipes
  • External removal of later intrusive fixings and fittings
  • Relaying of the existing lose tessellated floor tiles
  • Make-safe works to subbasement areas to support limited safe public access

Works began in July 2019 and are scheduled to be completed soon. A substantial amount of further works will still be required to completely restore the Powerhouse and ensure it is entirely safe for public access. The Harbour Trust has inadequate capital funding for this undertaking.

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