Thursday 7 February 2008

The building boom of the late 19th Century

In my love of local architecture, features, and what I see around me I now carry my camera all the time. Today was quite a little crop of pictures and will take me a few days to get them all sorted and up on here - but here's a start.

This is on the corner of Dennington Park Road and West End Lane and is on the building above Lupa. It's a relatively straightforward date plaque, but it is topped by a really attractive gargoyle esq feature. Now I'm sure it's slightly sentimental but these sort of features really add to an area, to the building and to the locality. Here in NW6/NW3 we are especially laden with such features.

In the context of this and seeing that the public library opposite and the fire station a few hundred yards down the road opened in 1901. It made me reflect that West End Lane between the arrival of the railways (1870's) and 1901 when the public facilities went in the local area must have seen amazing level of change.

At this time 1892 it must have been something of a building site on West End Lane and the scale of building work going on must have been huge - in fact the development of the whole area would have been from open fields to close serried streets.

I can almost hear the discussion on the 19th century equivalent of local chat rooms (pubs/bars?) - "oh, stop the development, stop it now. Let's protest." :-)


Anonymous said...

I've just realised that this is the building feature Des wanted me to identify:

Anonymous said...

Aha! A response!

Righto, Ed, get digging. Now that strange little face or gargoyle is a.....? I forgotten what they are called. A mythical creature. Not a fawn, something similar. Something from the occult?
These things are not put up there to just decorate the building, they represent something. I wonder what went on in that place. Surely somebody out there must know. Was it a meeting place for the Hellfire Club or something similar?