From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1999:
LONDON––Wedged between the massive brick
Battersea coal-burning powerhouse and the dilapidated
Battersea train station, dating to circa 1855, the Dogs’ Home
Battersea had literally Dickensian origins.
To present Londoners, the powerhouse and the
neighborhood are metaphors for each other, and for failed great
expectations. Begun in 1929 and first fired up in 1937, but not
completed until 1955, the art deco powerhouse ran at full
capacity for just 18 years before it was shut as a health hazard
on Halloween 1983. Politicians and developers have sought
ever since to find a purpose for the building.
The neighborhood was originally characterized,
however, by the now empty Battersea Pumping Station, built
in 1830 to feed the first London water mains. Now near the
heart of the city, it was then believed to be far enough out to
provide clean water from the Thames.