Saturday 10 May 2008 9.43am
...worse still...the E&C shopping centre gets listed! I never saw that one coming! Does anyone know what has happened with that at all by the way?
The story in the Southwark News of 31 March
stated "An application to list the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre will be placed this week". If the application (by a trader based in the centre???) ever got made, then I suspect that English Heritage will have got further than drafting a letter of acknowledgement.
Despite the E&C Shopping Centre's claims to being the UK's fist covered shopping centre, I doubt that even the most committed social historian on EH's post-war listings team could pull together a credible case for listing the E&C.
One precedent to note is that the argument about a shopping centre's early functional /commercial failure appears to have been a deciding factor in EH's decision not to recommend listing of the Tricorn Centre
in Portsmouth a couple of years ago. The top floor of the E&C (more recently the Bingo) was converted from shops to office space/the DHSS canteen some thirty years ago having been empty and untenanted from only a few years after opening.
There would be a certain irony if the much more architecturally distinguished Alexander Fleming House (Metro Central Heights) next door remains unlisted.
(BTW The Twentieth Century Society
is campaigning for some of Kennedy's Sausage Shops to be listed - now that is a bit of South London retail history that I think we should preserve)