Industry makes way for the Arts

Article image - Industry makes way for the Arts AlburyCity’s Cultural Development Coordinator sketches out a new future for the historic pump house.

An historic building with roots deep in a city’s industrial past is about to get a new life as a creative hub for artists.

The red brick structure on the banks of the Murray River in AlburyCity, southern New South Wales (NSW), was built in 1884 to house a steam engine that drew water from the river for the young town’s residents, who were tired of having their water delivered in horse-drawn carts.

After generations of service, the pump house was replaced by a modern pumping station and filtration plant in 1997. Since then, it has lain empty.

But now, thanks to funding support from the NSW Government, it will be transformed from pump house to art house.

Work is now underway to re-imagine the building as a ‘maker’s space’, which include a ceramics studio, a general creative work space and workshops for woodwork and metal work.

AlburyCity Mayor, Kevin Mack, said the pump house made an ideal location for artistic pursuits.

“Although it was built with purely utilitarian purposes in mind, the passage of years has left us with a tall, attractive Victorian-era structure that seems to stand in the riverside landscape almost like an artwork in its own right.

“The border communities of Albury and Wodonga have a vibrant arts culture and the development of this dedicated maker’s space will offer lots of new opportunities for creativity and inspiration.”

The old pump house will also be available to ‘D.I.Y’ enthusiasts as well as school groups and others looking for a place to learn, create and play.

It is expected the new centre will be financially self-sustaining through paid memberships.