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by Archaeology Newsroom

Gazochori, the last flame

On an economic level the city of Athens, by the time it became the capital of Greece showed a centrifugal tendency which created two vital productive nuclei, that of Piraeus and of Lavrio. During the first phase of Otto’s reign Athens is connected to Piraeus and Lavrio through a railway. The first town-plan is designed, the limits of the archaeological zone are set; however, Athens will never succeed in fully materializing any developmental project. The triangle of the town-plan is created. Its third peak points to the centre of an industrial sector that is just being assembled. One of the first factories of Athens,that of gas, will be erected there. The production of gas starts in 1862 and is adequate to illuminate only one section of the city. Ten years later, Ph. Pheraldis, to whom the factory was granted by a royal decree, yields all his rights to a limited French company. For many years the various representatives of the municipality had to fight against the managers of the factory. In 1938 its management is directly passed over to the municipality of Athens as a result of the refusal of the French company to renew its contract. The history of the factory as well as its construction and equipment in themselves are very important.

The final intervention in the gas factory should be such as to function as a starting point and a challenge for the beginning of an open scientific debate on the study and rescue of the industrial heritage of the country.