– May 18, 2011Posted in: Environment, Protest
The latest Heartlands outline planning application includes the demolition of Hornsey gas holder no.1, contrary to strengthening interest in its retention and the original vision that the industrial heritage of the area should have a place in its redevelopment. It is essential that we have an informed debate on its value - to our area and in the economic and social history of the Victorian townscape. It is the best preserved example of a heliacal framed holder, in a uniquely prominent position – next to Alexandra palace and the East Coast main line into Kings Cross – itself a masterpiece of the Victorian and now celebrated and, thankfully safe from destruction. We no longer question the value of the Victorian railway viaduct or the canal or mill in our towns. In the 1970s, planners and developers were quick to write off Covent Garden and other areas of our heritage whose original use had passed. It really is time we took time to understand this steam age dinosaur and find a way of keeping it as a centre piece of the new Heartlands. If other cities around the world can do it, so should we. There seems no better opportunity to safeguard a such a valuable part of our heritage than by incorporating it into a major brown-field urban redevelopment. Ideas for its future include arts or perfrmance space, leisure, mixed retail,busienss and exhibition space and possibly some residential. Protection and an understanding of its value are essential first steps in this journey.
Hornsey gas holder no.1 was identified last year for potential listing. The Victorian Society has expressed an interest in it. English Heritage passed off the opportunity to list it several years ago but could look at it again. The Gherkin’s structure was even inspired by it. Learn more about it by reading Colin Marr’s review on our website and join us in objecting to its casual destruction.
Please let us know if you can help save Hornsey Holder no.1 by highlighting its value and the unique opportunity we have to save it through architectural, planning, conservation and academic media, to reach a wider audience and influence thinking.