NEWS

Development or demolition for the gasometer at Gazi?

When the gas plant was built in 1862, it was the pride of Athens. Eventually it boasted four gasometers, the largest of which was built in 1909. Now the former factory on Pireos Street is one of the capital’s best-known landmarks, and considered to be a significant industrial monument. Cities such as Berlin and Paris restore such structures and incorporate them into the contemporary urban fabric, finding new uses for them. By contrast, Greeks do not hold such structures in high regard. The Drapetsona waste processing plant is one of many industrial buildings that have been abandoned or demolished. Several of them are to be found close by on Iera Odos. The most recent example of neglect is gasometer D15 at Technopoulis in Gazi. The City of Athens commissioned a study for its preservation and conversion into a meeting place and concert venue. New study The Central Council for Modern Monuments approved the conversion but not the study. There is to be a new study, which must include complete documentation of the existing building. Meanwhile, the issue has aroused concern among locals. Does the area need a large, reinforced concrete building? What guarantee is there that the conversion will not harm the building, given that gasometers D2 and D4 have suffered irreversible damage? And why should the already overburdened area of Pireos Street and Iera Odos have yet another concert and meeting place?