Friday, June 15, 2012

London Remodelled


This map of London is fascinating. It is titled, "Plan of Improvements in Central London Suggested by John Murray FRIBA, FSI" and seems to be a grand scheme indeed for the creation of Imperial Way, a major new road leading from a remodelled Piccadilly Circus (now Piccadilly Square) to Charing Cross where there would be a new Opera House and a whole new bridge over the Thames. It's not clear that these suggestions were officially sanctioned or even requested but clearly they never came to pass. However, our Mr Murray seems to have imagined himself something of a modern day Christopher Wren: there is a second sheet (below) which has "Improvements in Central London. View from The Strand Looking Over the Thames" in which Murray has re-created the south side of The Strand in full-on Christoper Wren style, cupolas and all... The two sheets date from 1918 and, history being full of 'what ifs?' it's intriguing to see a 'what if?' that never did...



2 comments:

Mike said...

Hmm, perhaps a grand public project planned to create jobs at a time when a lot of men would be coming out of the army? And also as a lasting monument to the end of the war.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the grand plans proposed for London after the devistating fire of 1666. The plans suffered the same fate as those for San Francisco after the fire in 1906. Both became so bogged down in property rights squabbles that the grand plans were scrapped.

 
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