Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Camden Council Vandalism by the Canal

This was the view yesterday from Oval Road on the canal bank at Camden. The building was a fine warehouse built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMSR). I've been visiting this Camden-Chalk Farm area regularly while working on my forthcoming Euston artist's book, but I wasn't prepared for this. I naiively thought that the surviving railway warehouses and other historic industrial buildings along the canl were safe. How wrong I was! What is Camden Council thinking of to give permission for such vandalism? It doesn't seem to have any respect for the historic built environment at all. And I have just heard that it has allowed Stanley Buildings north block, between Kings Cross and St Pancras stations (see my Kings Cross artist's book 2004 elsewhere in this blog) to be demolished. Again, I had thought it was safe. There are good people fighting to save the best of our industrial and architectural heritage, and no end of good uses to which they could be put with thoughtful conversion, but against stupidity even the gods fight in vain.


Nancy Campbell said...

Devastating! I wonder if you heard the feature on the Today programme last week about the aesthetic value of abandoned buildings in London. A rather well-brought up woman interviewing Iain Sinclair objected with great horror: 'But Mr Sinclair, if the buildings are emapty they might be used by squatters!' Sinclair growled - 'And what is wrong with that??'

SimonC said...

I work in the offices just out of sight on the right of the picture, and I've been watching the destruction of this building with growing horror. It's actually even worse than it appears in the photo here, as a substantial chunk of the old horse tunnels has been excavated, with a view to allowing access to and from the towpath.

I've taken a few photos of the process over the last couple of months.