An overview of electricity substations in Sydney

by Gabriel, created 19-sep-2018, updated 20-sep-2018

Sydney has more than 200 electricity substations built in the 1920s-1930s by Sydney Municipal Council.
I randomly discovered a few of them over the few years I have been living here.
In this post I'm sharing a few personal photos of what some of those substations look like the city today.


When you walk through Sydney you should find here and there a couple of those electric substations. According to the Office of Environment & Heritage of NSW they were build between the wars to "electrify" the growing city.
Most of them are made with plain red brick in a simple but elegant architecture, somes are clones, but there is still a lot of different "models". They integrate very well with the neighboring townhouse or buildings.
Nearly 100 years later, a lot are still used for the purpose they were build for. Not bad when you think of some modern public buildings: There is a discussion going on at the moment to demolish and rebuild the Sydney Olympic Stadium, less than 20 years after its opening!

Having find a few of them randomly it now a game for me to discover more and "collection" them!

You can find below a very short series of those electric substations:

Electricity Substation 5
Electricity Substation 5 - Mountain St (corner Smail St), Ultimo

Electricity Substation 20(?)
Electricity Substation 20(?) - Buckland ln (~corner Mitchell Rd), Alexandria

Electricity Substation 43
Electricity Substation 43 - Unwins Bridge rd (corner Hogab Av), Sydenham

Electricity Substation 67
Electricity Substation 67 - Waterloo st (corner Belmore Ln), Surry Hills

Electricity Substation 109
Electricity Substation 109 - Lachlan st (corner Gadigal Av), Waterloo

Electricity Substation 112
Electricity Substation 112 - Renwick st (~corner Redfern st), Redfern

Electricity Substation 152
Electricity Substation 152 - MacEvoy st (~corner Bowden st), Alexandria

Electricity Substation 175
Electricity Substation 175 - Devonshire st (~corner Holt st), Surry Hills

Electricity Substation 226
Electricity Substation 226 - Kensington st (~corner Outram st), Chippendale

Electricity Substation 228
Electricity Substation 228 - Pine st (corner Paints Ln), Chippendale

Electricity Substation 549
Electricity Substation 549 - Princess Hwy (~corner Barwon Park Rd), St Peters

Electricity Light Station - Redfern
Electricity Light Station - Renwick st (~corner Turner st), Redfern
Not a substation exactly but definitely part of the network at the time and a beautiful building!

Those buildings have sparkled curiosity of the artist Andrew Burns, alias Barocky Chocky: In a 500mm x 400mm print, he celebrates Sydney's diverse and historic electrical substations.
Substations of Sydney illustrated print by Barocky Chocky
Substations of Sydney illustrated print by Barocky Chocky

Find the print on Etsy.