Esoteric London

No. 1064: Clerkenwell Road, EC1

Posted in Architectural, Wildlife by esotericlondon on March 27, 2014

©RogerDean_RED_5932 copy

Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1. Photo ©RogerDean 2013

Saunterings In And About London – Max Schlesinger, 1853:

The Exchange, as we have said, is a splendid building; but professional architects will shrug their shoulders when they look at it in the detail. Why all those corners on the eastern side, and why those small narrow shops? It is wrong to condemn anybody or anything on mere prima facie evidence. The architect who designed the Exchange had similar though greater difficulties to contend with, than Paxton in the construction of the Exhibition Building in Hyde Park. Paxton’s great antagonist was Colonel Sibthorp, an honourable and gallant member of the House of Commons, who would not consent to sacrifice the trees which adorned the site of the building. “Make what fuss you like about your modern ideas of industry,” said the chivalric Don Quixote, “but you shall not touch the trees; they are worth all your industry, and all your foreign nicknacks, and free-trade and nonsense, and, indeed, anything that ever came from Manchester.” And what said Paxton? Why, he said, “Let the old trees stand, we will roof them over!” and he built his glass house one hundred feet higher in the middle, and thus made the transept.