Gasworks Arts Park situated at Albert Park in Melbourne, serves as an arts precinct producing a range of high-quality arts programs, workshops and activities for all ages. The former site of South Melbourne Gas Plant is turned into an Arts Park after the gas plant was decommissioned in the 1970’s. Today this Arts Park houses two theatres, three gallery spaces, a café, four hectares of Park land and function and workshop spaces.
In the 1800’s, prior to the development of natural gas supply and transmission, gas for fuel and lighting were manufactured from coal. Coal gas was manufactured by heating coal strongly in the absence of air. South Melbourne Gas Company was formed in 1872 and became operational in March 1873. The land at Albert Park was leased by South Melbourne Gas Company for the operation of their plant until 1971. This was the largest employer in the area on those days.
In 1957, the South Melbourne Gas plant was closed after the commissioning of the brown coal plant in Morwell. In 1979, South Melbourne City Council purchased a portion of the site with the intention of transforming it into a park. In 1986, the 8 Acre park was opened to public as Gas works Arts Park. Today the park is used for diverse range of activities like Monthly Farmers Market, a venue for Free outdoor music concerts and also remains the highest visited dogs off leash parks in the City of Port Phillip.
The historic buildings in the park are turned into 2 theatres, 3 gallery spaces, a café and studios for local artists that supports 16 resident visual artists. Gasworks Arts Inc, a community based organisation founded in 1987 develops the arts program within the park and coordinates venue hire for workshops and creative classes for adults and children each year.
There are many heritage listed structures in the park that are reminders of its past as a Gas works plant. The brick walls that enclose the park are listed by Heritage Victoria and are protected under planning scheme. The theatres and artists’ studios, weighbridge and original blue stone paving are also heritage listed.
The park has facilities for picnics, BBQ and have rest rooms with toilets for disabled. Dogs are permitted off leash but they are not permitted within 5 meters of the playground and BBQ areas, breaching this will invite penalties.
Gas Works Farmers Market
There is a farmers Market here on every 3rd Saturday of the Month from 8am to 1pm. This farmers market is plastic bag free, so you will have to bring your own bags or buy reusable bags.
Address: Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham Street, Albert Park
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