Friday18 August 2017

Rethink Crossrail 2 route to save key buildings, urges Victorian Society

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Listed buildings across London threatened

The Victorian Society has warned that historic buildings across London will be demolished to make way for Crossrail 2.

Its statement comes as the deadline for the public consultation on the high-speed rail route looms. Responses must be in by tomorrow (Friday).

The project would allow 270,000 more people to travel into the capital at peak times by connecting existing rail networks in Surrey with those in Hertfordshire, requiring new tunnels and stations across central London.

Christopher Costelloe, director of the Victorian Society, urged Crossrail 2 to examine the feasibility of retaining certain buildings in Victoria, the West End, Euston, Dalston, Islington and Wimbledon.

He said Crossrail 2’s statement on ‘Protecting London’s heritage’ was just four paragraphs long and dealt almost entirely with the impact of ground settlement caused by tunnelling rather than minimising the demolition of historic buildings of quality.

He said: “The society appreciates that Crossrail 2’s huge advantages for London cannot be achieved without demolishing some buildings. However, every effort must be made to use those sites which would minimise Crossrail 2’s impact on London’s unique and historic environment. Our suggestions would ensure that Crossrail 2 brings people to places that are distinctive and that retain their best historic buildings.”

TfL’s Crossrail 2 information and consultation is here.


The Victorian Society’s threatened gems

•      Victoria: An entire late 19th century hotel/apartment building which curves along 193-207 Victoria Street and 91-99 Buckingham Palace Road and includes the Shakespeare pub. The block is very important for the townscape in Victoria which has already seen much demolition. Losing the block would negatively affect the setting of listed Victoria Station opposite.

•       Tottenham Court Road: Site A at Rathbone Place sits within the Hanway Street Conservation Area and contains a grade II listed 1909 building by H Percy Adams on corner of Rathbone Place and Oxford Street. 11 Rathbone Place is a grade II-listed 18th-century building with a mid-19th century front and shopfront. The Black Horse pub and numbers 9 and 14-18 are all unlisted but handsome historic buildings worthy of saving.

•       Wimbledon: The Victorian block at Site C contains the landmark Prince of Wales pub – a former 17th-century coaching inn rebuilt in 1870. Site D contains a grade II listed 1904 former fire station by Charles Hanlet Cooper and a former church now housing a branch of Boots.

•       Angel Islington: Site B contains the locally listed Three Johns pub on White Lion Street rebuilt in 1899–1901 for Watney Combe Reid & Co. Could this small corner of the site be spared demolition?

•       Euston: Site B would see the loss of a long early 19th-century terrace including the grade II listed 64 Eversholt Street – the only listed building in the terrace – with an attractive 19th-century shopfront.

•       Dalston: Site C would entail the loss of a block of handsome Victorian buildings including the locally listed NatWest Bank building of 1891 by Horace Cheston RIBA. Could the site be moved to cover the Kingsland Shopping Centre which has been mooted and which is of no architectural value?



Readers' comments (4)

  • No harm in losing a few listed buildings. We have a preposterous number of those already anyway, far far too many in fact. Most of those described above aren't anything particularly special in any case, and several are but locally listed. The Victorian Society really needs some perspective and a better grip on reality. If sparing these and thus demolishing more recent buildings which are better suited for purpose would be what would result from saving these then that is society shooting itself in the foot...

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  • It appears that we save the Co-op Bank& other important building building on Upper St, only for TFL/Network Rail to treat other locally historical buildings with contempt. They are a bunch of corporate philistines. It is our HISTORY that is being destroyed & replaced by bland, homogenised, 21st century architecture of no relevance to the locality, which would fit in ANYWHERE in the world! We owe it to future generations to save these buildings!!

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    Having worked with TfL I can confirm that they don't give a shit, and have been vested with powers that entitle them to do whatever the hell they want. How did that happen?

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  • The plebs that think nothing of trashing this countries architectural history, is summed up by "knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing"

    Thanks to idiots like this, the Grand Midland would of been lost to make way for some facile garbage that would have no doubt generated a quick buck for the developer.

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