This is unique - it's the only one of its type in Australia. It was constructed in 1912, and although the other infrastructure that once surrounded it has gone, this tower is listed on the Heritage Register, and therefore protected from demolition. What is it? Read on!
(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)
In 1911, the South Brisbane Gas & Light Company, which provided gas to the south side of the river, decided that it needed to upgrade its facilities. They sent their engineer to England to look at the most current technology, and his recommendation was to install this tower. It was built in Yorkshire in 1912 by Robert Hempster and Sons, and sent to Brisbane in sections to be erected at the South Brisbane Gas & Light Company's gas works on Montague Rd, West End.
I still haven't told you exactly what it is, have I? :-) Back in 1912, the gas that was being used here in Brisbane was coal gas, not the natural gas we use today. Part of the process that was needed for the gas to be used in homes and businesses involved the removal of ammonia and tar, and this tower performed that function. The gas was piped in at the bottom of the tower, and as it rose to the top it passed over baffels where it was sprayed with water to remove these contaminants. The clean gas was then removed at the top of the tower, and the water drawn off at the bottom could be sold as ammonia liquid. The tower has been moved slightly from its original position - it was originally situated on Montague Rd - but in 1979 its new owners, the National Trust, relocated it to its current site at the rear of Davies Park on Riverside Drive .
Click here for a Google Map.
Next: Upper house and lower house