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If Charles Dickens stood in Potters Fields today....

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Thursday 24 April 2008 6.11pm
mickysalt wrote:
You said London didn't get where it was today by getting hung up on the past,
Victorian architecture owed everything to the past.
You mix up architecture and decoration at your peril.
The Victorians were the first to adopt whole new building types of enormous scale. They needed to. They were busy inventing the modern world at the time. Sometimes, if the money was available, they clad it. Usually in their favoured and fashionable, over elaborate and utterly fake pseudo gothic (so English.... IOW, not French). Often, as was the case with most of the warehouses that crowded what we call Potter's Fields, they didn't bother. They built big, iron framed, brick clad boxes anything up to 100ft high. They were ugly, brutal and utterly functional. Trust me that where they could afford it they also built huge glass boxes. The Crystal Palace being the biggest glass box of them all. Imagine if today it was suggested that someone was going to build a vast modern glass box in the middle of Hyde Park. I doubt the suggestion would be treated favourably by the denzens of Kensington.
Thursday 24 April 2008 7.33pm
You cant escape the fact that the whole premise of you previous comments were false.
London was shaped (by your own admission) by stringent planning laws up to the 60s what's happening now bares no resemblance to anything Charles dickens would recognise.
As for crystal palace it may have been glass but it wasn't a box and in certainly wasn't offices
And it certainly wasent an uncontrolled mess.
The old warehouses are among my favorout sort of building in London , its a crime that so many were demolished along the river.
Thursday 24 April 2008 9.35pm
boroughbloke wrote:
The Victorians had no love of St Paul's or desire to protect it. So much did they dislike its baroque (read foreign and Roman Catholic) design that they wanted to knock it down completely and replace it with something a bit more English.... A bit more gothic.

Twaddle - that view was only held by the crazed AWN Pugin and half a dozen later Ecclesiologists.

The great majority of the British architecture profession remained thoroughly committed to the classical tradition, and managed to stop the efforts of successive evangelical Bishops of London to sell off all the sites of the city churches to finance church building in the suburbs.

It has been pursuasively argued that Wren's work actually came back fashion (after half a century of neglect when Grecian neo-classicism was prevalent) after 1838 when Cockerell's "A Tribute to Sir Christopher Wren" was exhibited at the Royal Academy. IIRC that was a year after Queen Victoria came to the throne.
Tuesday 20 May 2008 3.38pm
For those of you who really would like to know the workings of Charles Dickens's mind. "Dickens: Unplugged" opens at the Comedy Theatre just off Leicester Square this Friday.

It is a musical comedy about the life and works of Charles Dickens written by Adam Long, co-creater of the Reduced Shakespeare Company.

The official website is here.

and you'll find reviews here.

James, let me declare an interest straight away. I am involved in this production but am a genuine SE1er too as I'm sure you'll be able to verify. Also, I'm not making any claims about the show, I'm only letting people know about it. I hope this doesn't break any forum rules. If so, I apologise.
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