Friday, February 24, 2012

Battersea Power Station is being wasted

At a time in 1979 when I was nearly destitute, as a seaman having trouble getting a ship with all but no money handy, I booked into the awful but grandly named International Hostel in London's otherwise affluent Pimlico area, I was shown to my top floor room with slanted ceiling and two room mates who were nearly tramps, one was another seaman...charming. I asked if there was a view out the small window seconds after I arrived. 'What of..Battersea power station'? one of them asked, as if it was the last thing I would want to see. Actually, that giant Dinosaur with it's four huge chimney's that were still active was a depressing site for someone with plenty to be depressed about without it. 
It has many friends in the right places it seems though. 'One of London's best known landmarks' some say, but for who, somebody who needs to see where Battersea is from where they are?
It's a 1930's brick building, with another half added in the 1950's, in Europe designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who also designed the Red Telephone box and Liverpool Cathedral. But Bankside Power Station just downstream and now housing the Tate Modern Gallery is both those things too, same thing, same designer so it's hardly unique, even if it's Art Deco , there's lots of those in London including the brick OXO building nearby on the Thames also.
Meanwhile this now derelict sacred cow has had hundreds of millions poured into it and still stands empty and wanting to die, even if it is the largest brick building in Europe.
All I see when I see Battersea power station is an urgent need for dynamite, to that end it is indeed being wasted, dynamite demolitions of substantial buildings make for a great public day out!
Now the site is going on open market sale for the first time, with lots of strings attached no doubt, and I bet dynamite won't be discussed. That's a pity, then could turn it into a prison. 

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