The gas plant was founded in 1857 in order to cover Athens' need for public lighting. They were the country's first energy plants. By the end of the 19th Century the network gas had been expanded to provide gas to industries and households.
The plant's administration was turned over to the Athens Municipality and the Athens Municipal Gasworks (DEFA) was officially founded in 1952. The plant provided the Athenians with energy for 130 years before ceasing work for good in 1984. A few years after the premises closed down the site was listed by the Ministry of Culture as a preservable historical monument, with the prospect of turning it into a museum and recreation area.
The gas plant provides characteristic examples of technological and industrial architecture of the 19th Century, given that most of the buildings and the facilities, including much of the machinery, remain intact.
The repair and restoration of the buildings and the design of the open areas were completed in 2004. By 1999, the Athens Municipality had opened the premises under the name Technopolis (art city) for the hosting of cultural and other events. The institution, the first industrial museum in Athens, was officially inaugurated by Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis.