SAVE highlights threatened London buildings
Posted: 16 June 2006
Written by Graham Soult
To coincide with the 2006 Architecture Biennale, SAVE Britain's Heritage has highlighted a number of threatened buildings in London that are at risk from what it calls a "trail of destruction".
Smithfield: General Market Building
Permission has been granted by the City of London for the demolition of the unlisted 1880s General Market building, by Sir Horace Jones, at the western end of the market. Its annex and the Red House cold store to the south are being left to rot.
Smithfield House, Edmund Martin, and the Deco building on Lindsay Street
The cross London rail scheme, Crossrail, in its present form requires the demolition of these buildings, and the two Victorian warehouses behind. The dreadful 1950s building to the north on Charterhouse Square will, however, survive. Smithfield House is an unlisted early C20th Hennebique concrete building, Edmund Martin earlier with 1930s alterations.
Kings Cross: Cullross Building and Northern Stanley Building
As part of the massive regeneration scheme for the railway lands at Kings Cross these two buildings will be demolished to make way for a "desire line" and a road respectively. Cullross sits in a conservation area and the Northern Stanley building is listed at Grade II – both were built as tenement accommodation.
Span Four of Paddington Station
This elegant Edwardian extension of Brunel's Paddington station, echoing the great man's work in its 700ft long roof, faces demolition and replacement with a giant office block Network rail claim it will significantly increase capacity at the station - however this can be done without resorting to demolition. The whole of Paddington station is Grade I listed.
London Bridge Station
Remarkably, the 1850s station remains intact behind the through platforms, and in spite of the ugly footbridge between the platforms, remains an elegant space. Its demolition is proposed as a part of rather delayed Thameslink 2000. It is listed at Grade II.
Dalston Lane, Hackney
Apart from a rather unfortunate recent addition resembling a Battenburg cake, the southern side of Dalston Lane remains intact in its Georgian and Regency form - at least for now. There have been arson attacks on some of the semi-detached houses to the east, and to the west there is currently an application to demolish the small Regency terrace and theatre.
Love it or hate it, permission has been granted for the demolition of the giant white building just east of Cannon St Station, best viewed from the south bank of the Thames, where it appears as a giant computer, rather like the one features in the movie version of "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy".
The City Fringe
The City's eastward and Northward expansion continues, with areas of Shoreditch and Tower Hamlets being strategically bought up by the City and development companies for future office developments. The areas have their own fascinating histories, reflected in the buildings and are well worth exploring before they are redeveloped to the drab uniformity of office-world.
Save Britain's Heritage [external link]
London Architecture Biennale [external link]
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