Tuesday 29 January 2008

The high cost of restoration

The TV programme Restoration has raised the profile, expectation and indeed raised the bar on restoration projects. These are usually buildings and usually have a strong architectural draw - as I understand it the communities who lead the campaigns have two main strands - local people who know and love and those who gained a benefit years previously.

In this part of London one of the most famous and to my mind impressive restoration projects around is St Stephen's Church, Pond Street, NW3.

It's featured on this excellent website: http://www.derelictlondon.com/ under churches. You also get a great sense of the grandeur under http://www.francisfrith.com/search/england/london/hampstead/photos/hampstead_43065.htm

The trust driving the restoration camapign deserve high praise and can be contacted on

In brief the trust exists to repair and restore St Stephens Church, Rosslyn Hill, NW3. The first stage of the works has been completed, including underpinning, a new floor structure and windows repaired and replaced.

The second stage began at the end of 2006, to install a Lifelong Learning Centre and lettable space into the lower ground floor, the space being let to a local school. The income from the lettable space will ensure the survival of the building but further funding and donations are still being sought.

I have attended a few plays in the church, been round the markets and open days - it's well worth supporting as a restoration project - I'd recommend it. There's no other way the high cost can be met.

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