Sunday20 August 2017

The Spitalfields Trust draws up alternative for Marquis of Lansdowne

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David Chipperfield plans to demolish the pub to make way for the Geffrye Museum extension

The Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust has drawn up a vision of how the Marquis of Lansdowne could look if it was renovated instead of demolished.

The pub is set to be replaced by a £18.9 million extension to the Geffrye Museum, designed by David Chipperfield.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has planned to contribute £11 million to the project.

The Marquis of Lansdowne

Source: (c) Tim Whittaker

How it could look: the Marquis of Lansdowne revived in a sketch by Tim Whittaker of the Spitalfields Trust

The sketch shows the Victorian pub reinstated with the original details, including sash windows and exterior cornices.

The Marquis of Lansdowne

The Marquis of Lansdowne today

William Palin, a trustee of the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, said: “The scheme shows how, if retained, this modest but handsome building could make an enormous contribution to any new scheme - enriching the streetscape and providing valuable historical context for the modern extension.

“Whether revived as a pub, restaurant, bar, education space or visitor centre it is clear that this building would anchor the new scheme in the architecture and history of this special, but much abused, part of the East End.”


Readers' comments (5)

  • Austin Clegg

    This building, if revived as proposed will have a pleasantly unasuming character, architectural interest, historical resonances and cultural value: in short the antithesis of Chipperfield's tiresome deadpan anti-contextural minimalism.
    It will of course be demolished.

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  • Kirsten Elliott

    As the rooms at the Geffrye Museum are reconstructions, wouldn't this proposal - which could provide an excellent refreshment space - be very much in keeping with the ethos of the museum? Surely conservation, not destruction, is what the museum is about, isn't it?

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  • This sketch isn't really helping.

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  • As one whose family owns property by Cremer Street, and whose ancestors lived and worked in Bethnal Green and South Hackney as orris (specialist silk and gold/silver thread) weavers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, I am bitterly disappointed to learn that the Geffrye Museum considers it appropriate to demolish one of the few remaining 1800s properties in the area to replace is with a new-build extension to the museum.

    The Geffrye Museum is dedicated to showing the public the lifestyles of past centuries in East London. Surely they can see that the Marquis of Lansdowne is a serious example of the sort of public house that was fundamental to the lifestyles of those who occupied this wonderful part of London in its fascinating history. There must be a whole range of ways in which the property could be used to enhance the Museum itself, or to be restored as a separate public house which would act as a source of revenue for the Museum as part of the revival of this exciting area..

    Local Authorities are far too quick to allow the destruction of the taxpayers' heritage. Thousands of houses were demolished in the East End in the post-war period, delivering in their place unattractive concrete blocks which quickly demonstrated that the quality of the building was poor and the culture of the estates did not meet the needs of the people. Please try to be a bit more imaginative about how you deliver the future for these areas. Many beautiful squares and terraces could have been saved and restored to the kind of homes that people actually want. My great-great-grandparents began their married life in 1841 in the terraced house which is now number 7 Buckfast Street (formerly Abbey Street), E2. This charming little house is still in excellent condition, providing a happy home for a 21st Century family instead of sticking them in chilly isolation in some pile of ugliness way up in the sky.

    Please try to preserve the real appearance of the East End and give its people the sort of environment they want. Extensions can fit in almost anywhere. The loss of original historic buildings is a real tragedy.

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  • For god's sake keep the pub and refurbish. Traces of the East End are disappearing too fast under bland Modernist rubbish. We need to keep wonky old buildings like this - and that's what the public wants too.

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