Spouse B, Daughter T, and I are in London, UK, visiting Daughter E, Son-in-law L, and Granddaughters ABC and JG. Yesterday, we made a trip to the Battersea Power Station.
Having grown up around power stations, I am geeky about them and would like to tour them, but the Battersea Power Station after decades of use as a coal-fired power station, designation as a historic landmark, and decades of disuse and deterioration, has been transformed into a shopping mall, apartments, offices, restaurant, and entertainment complex. The mall only opened a few months ago and more shops will be opening later this year.
On our way to the main entrance, we passed this sign. Of course, I had to take a photo of it as a shoutout to my friends of the Boiler House Poets Collective!
The main part of the old Art Deco-style power station that has been transformed into shops and restaurants is massive. Here is a view as you look down one of the main galleries that once housed multiple turbines:
The amount of detail that went into the restoration is staggering. Here you can see some of the Art Deco elements and part of one of the old control room through the windows.
There are lots of fun elements that play off the power station theme, such as the Control Room B cocktail bar, which features lots of dials and gauges as part of the decor.
I loved seeing the remnant of this safety helmet sign. When we used to go to the hydro stations with Paco, this would have been termed a “hard hat area.” (Yes, I am just that geeky about these things, as anyone who has heard me going on about the industrial roots of the MASS MoCA complex will know.)
There are, of course, many distinctly modern features. For example, one of the old smokestacks now houses an elevator to take people up to the top to look out over London and the Thames. Not being particular fans of heights, although it is glass encased at the top, we did not go up in Lift 109, so called because the top of the stack is 109 meters from the ground, but it’s there for those with the inclination and pounds to do so.
At the moment, there are a number of light installations scattered around the complex. JG was especially taken with these hearts and kept hopping from one to another, while saying “another heart” over and over in an enthusiastic, two-year-old voice. I suppose it’s possible that this was more of a valentine feature than part of the light installations, but it was fun, none the less.
So, Happy Valentine’s Day from London for those celebrating!