Although many notable buildings present an insight into Port Adelaide's past, significant historical understanding can also be found in what is no longer there. City of Port Adelaide Enfield has created an app featuring the Lost Port Adelaide self-guided tour with augmented reality to help you find your way around the area and learn more about its history no matter when you visit. We downloaded the app and completed the walk in approximately two hours.
Site of former power house
Demolished in 1927, Nile Street Power House was the first of its kind in South Australia. It housed four machines generating 150 kilowatts to supply the port's electric street lighting. These 20 arc street lamps were first switched on during the regatta festivities in January 1899.
Site of former smelter
The English and Australian Copper Company Smelter was first fired in 1861 to smelt ore transported from the Kapunda and Burra mines. Purpose-built buildings housed its refineries and there was a 168-foot tall brick chimney. The smelting furnaces turned out large amounts of fine copper each week. Smelted copper was kept in a store and cement was mixed in a masons shop. In 1909, believe it or not, a band played music from the top of the chimney while the smelter was being demolished! Currently, the location is a COVID-19 testing site.
Site of former Queens Building
Officially opened in 1875, Prince Alfred Sailors Home provided residence for seamen arriving at the port. This English-style building took six years to construct and was named after the Duke of Edinburgh who laid the foundation stone during his visit. Interestingly, it is said that the home subsided 48 centimetres in the course of construction.
Both Queens Building and Foresters' Hall were demolished as part of the reconstruction of the port's wharf in the 1950s. With two white bands reflecting funnel markings of vessels, the Queens Building served as offices for various companies. The Foresters' Hall, which consisted of two halls and a gallery, was built for the 900-member strong A.O.F. Lodge.
The original post office, railway station, church, cinema and hotel also no longer stand today. However, there is still much to be learnt about them. So, just download the app and get close to the various locations to see a past image of these buildings being superimposed on your view of the present Port Adelaide.