The unique industrial heritage of the Lincoln Street ventilation stack in Highgate has now been recognised, with its addition to the State Register of Heritage Places.
Heritage Minister Michelle Roberts said the 38m structure was the only existing sewer ventilation stack of its design in Western Australia.
“The Lincoln Street ventilation stack, which opened in 1941, is a significant example of an industrial structure designed in the Inter-War Art Deco style,” Mrs Roberts said.
“The distinctive tower was built to ventilate Perth’s newly introduced reticulated sewerage system and reflects the expansion of our metropolitan sewerage system in the 1930s and 1940s.
“It is also a reminder of the State’s most difficult times. It was built during the Great Depression and the construction workers provided their labour in return for sustenance payments.”
The Minister said that despite grand plans for the project, the tower was only briefly used as a ventilation stack.
“The ventilation stack closed just four weeks after opening as the production of hydrogen sulphide corroded the extractor fans so quickly that the operation of the tower became financially unfeasible,” she said.
“Soon after its initial closure, the tower functioned as a hidden antenna for the WA Police Service’s wireless communications during World War II.
“The tower was a perfect alternative to the development of a new and costly mast.”
The site continues to be leased to the WA Police Service.
Mrs Roberts said the heritage listing of the ventilation stack was testament to its landmark status in the Highgate community.
“The addition of the Lincoln Street ventilation stack to the State Register of Places will ensure this unique heritage place is conserved, and its stories are told for generations to come,” she said.
Perth MLA John Hyde said the stack was one of the best known landmarks of the inner city and was held with some affection by local residents.
“I am sure the local community will welcome the listing of this fine piece of architecture which is such a prominent feature of their living environment,” Mr Hyde said.
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