Sewer Vent (2)

Ian Ker

Mt Lawley, Australia

Artist's Description

Camera: Canon Powershot SX100 IS with 10X zoom lens, 6.0-60.mm, 1:2.8-4.3. Taken with camera down close to ground level and the photographer lying on the ground to be able to see the image on the screen!
Featured in Industrial Landscapes, 4 November 2009.
Featured in Cityscapes and City Skylines, 6 November 2009.
It’s not often that something as utilitarian as a sewer vent gets heritage recognition, but this one in Highgate, Perth Western Australia is on both the Town of Vincent Municipal Heritage Inventory and the WA State Register of Heritage Places, from which the information below is taken.
AESTHETIC VALUE
Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack is a landmark monumental structure in the Inter-War Art Deco style. (Criterion 1.1) Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack displays innovation and high standard of design of applying the Inter-War Art Deco style for a simple utilitarian building of this type. (Criterion 1.2) Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack is important for its distinctive contribution to the predominantly flat geography of Highgate, and is a highly visible reminder of an otherwise unseen, but vital, urban infrastructure. (Criterion 1.3)
HISTORIC VALUE
The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack was built to ventilate the newly introduced reticulated sewerage system in Perth and was an important step in the development and expansion of Perth’s metropolitan sewerage system during the 1930s and 1940s. (Criterion 2.1) The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack was built by workers in receipt of sustenance payments during the Great Depression. (Criterion 2.2) The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack played a major role in the Defence communication services during the World War Two and the Western Australian Police Service communications since this time. (Criterion 2.2) The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack is associated with Russell Dumas, a notable West Australian engineer and later director of the Public Works Department, who contributed greatly to the development of Perth’s infrastructure between 1925 and 1953. It is a testament to his illustrious career that this, his only notable failure, did not damage his professional reputation. (Criterion 2.3) The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack was recognised as having landmark value at the time of its construction. (Criterion 2.4) Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack closed after 4 weeks of operation when the hydrogen sulphide, which turns to sulphuric acid on contact with water, corroded the extractor fans so quickly as to make the operation of the tower financially unfeasible. Furthermore, the hydrogen sulphide, which is heavier than air, on exiting the tower dispersed to the surrounding area causing complaints from residents about the unpleasant odours. (Criterion 2.2)
SCIENTIFIC VALUE
The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack, as a technical failure in its own right, prompted further study into the viable management of hydrogen sulphide gas. It was thus an important step in the development of a new sewerage system, which replaced the concrete pipes with plastic lined pipes and ceased use of ventilation altogether. (Criterion 3.3)
SOCIAL VALUE
The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack is highly valued for social reasons, having provided a much needed source of employment for the economically disadvantaged during the Great Depression, in return for sustenance payments. It was also later used by the Police Road Safety Unit for education. (Criterion 4.1) The Town of Vincent has included The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack on its Municipal Inventory evidencing the value attached to it by the local community. The National Trust of Australia (WA) has also included The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack on its heritage list. The Art Deco Society of W.A. has recognised the building as a significant example of the contemporary Inter-War Art Deco style. (Criterion 4.1) The Lincoln Street Ventilation Stack contributes to the community’s sense of place as a well known landmark in the Town of Vincent. (Criterion 4.2)

Artwork Comments

  • CraigsMom
  • Ian Ker
  • Daryl Gordon
  • Ian Ker
  • ChristineBetts
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