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Elephant refurb...

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Thursday 20 January 2005 12.14pm
Thursday 20 January 2005 1.00pm
Sorry Nancy, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say - my guess is that you're sceptical about the design intentions of the scheme and benefits to the existing community [renaming places as 'boulevards' does seem out of step with the current ambiance of the Elephant] or is it that you think the whole thing is yet another black hole for mis-spent council funds and deals with developers?

The article appears to be a re-working of the one in Thursdays Times - usual quality of journalism from the Evening Standard pool.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 20 January 2005 1.04pm by janefs.
Thursday 20 January 2005 2.04pm
I've been living around here for about 4 years, have been hearing exactly the same thing every six months or so. It would be so nice for something to actually happen, and can't really see anything ever being done.

These articles always depress me - would be great for someone to come back and guarantee that people are really going to do something. And I couldn't agree more about the quality of ES journalism...
Thursday 20 January 2005 7.47pm
If you really ARE interested, ask the Elephant |Links office to send you their CDRom, and have a look at the IS happening and very exciting it is too...but dont hold your breath that it will all be done next week - the project is going to take at least ten years.....the plan for pulling down the shopping centre is going to be in around 2011. I expect to be selling tickets! (We live right opposite it)
Friday 21 January 2005 7.59am
Will the tired old beast (Shopping Centre) survive another 6 years?
Friday 21 January 2005 8.53am
Well at least the story in the Times cleared up one query - the origin of the name Elephant and Castle. In very certain tone it stated the area was named after a pub of that name, which was thus named to attract the custom of the local ivory dealers...

unless you know different...

cue endless suggestions about Eleanor of Castille etc etc etc

And for all its faults and hideousness, the pink monstrosity was the first covered shopping centre built in the UK - maybe our mole at English Heritage could surreptitiously list it as of great interest to the world of ugly buildings.

...mmm that was good... I didn't know I knew how to spell surreptitiously.

Friday 21 January 2005 9.13am
The whole site should be listed as an ancient monument to covered shopping in its early primitive form....
Friday 21 January 2005 10.53am
I'm fairly sure that no one has ever tried, and I'm also fairly sure (in my own opinion) that any attempt to list would fail.
although it is fairly easy for anyone to attempt to get it listed. You just need to make a case for it's being of architectural importance, locally or nationaly, and submit that to the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) with photo's if possible. they will then decide if that case merits actually looking at it, and deciding. Putting in the fact that it was the first covered shopping centre, and any other information that would help it cause (like for instance if it was designed by a renowned architect) would be good.

The only things that I have found that are listed (AFAIK) are the Metropolitan Tabernacle, the Michael Faraday memorial, and a K6 telephone box on New Kent road opposite the junction with Falmouth Rd.
Friday 21 January 2005 12.58pm
note to self - I must flag up the jokes in future
Friday 21 January 2005 5.38pm
Re the discussion about crap ES journalism, it really is staggering how appalling the Standard's coverage of this project is. The E&C regeneration is not only the biggest in London, it is the biggest in Europe. You would have thought that would constitute a big London story. But we are south of the river, rather in Kensington, so the Standard treats it as if it were happening on Mars.

This week The Times did a perfectly good business story identifying one of the likely bidders for the bulk of the building work. This is a significant development, because there have been doubts raised in the construction trade press about whether big firms will be nervous of getting involved (because of complicated ownership issue)s. The fact that people really are bidding is good news - it increases the likelihood that the project will actually happen.

Cut to the Evening Standard, where someone (mis)reads the Times decides that the story is the project itself, rather than the bidding. That's why you get a well-I-never headline saying that the council is planning to redevelop the Elephant (backed up with ridiculous local billboards). Not one person at the Standard spotted that this is an old story that they have covered before. I think they even published pictures of what the redevelopment may look like when the masterplan first came out.

The lesson is, do not take any seriously anything you read in the Standard about the Elephant project. As often as not, the people who write about the "eyesore" would rather die than set foot south of the river, so have never actually seen it. For the same reason, they tend to refer to it as the Pink Elephant.

Trust me on this: I spent two miserable years working at the Standard, so I know what makes it tick.
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