Planning Ahead for Open House Day

Benedict has mentioned something that has escalated an idea that’s been smouldering at the back of my mind since September.

Benedict writes:

As I look out of my studio and wonder what the time is (my watch stopped 5 years ago) I gaze up to see the reliable Greenwich Clock Tower and see its time to stop my doodling and banging. Then I get to thinking wouldn’t it be great to go up it! It seems to have some sort of glazed viewing gallery or room at the top. Have you ever been or know anyone that has been up there, I bet the views are spectacular! It could be a great attraction to rival the imminent new Wheel, they could light it up at night and have a restaurant at the top. I love having this handy kitchen clock and its minimal/deco/post-modern design out the back door but can’t find out anything about it.

When we talked about this last year, no one had ever been up what was very clearly an observation tower. And it occurs to me that it would be the perfect candidate for Open House Day – a magnificent example of that civic-deco style of building of the 1930s – and surely not that hard to open. If we started now, maybe we could draw the attentions of the organisers to its charms.

But it doesn’t just stop there. There are at least two more buildings in the heart of Greenwich that I’d utterly love to see open for the day (well actually I wouldn’t be terribly upset if they opened a couple of them for more than a day…)

The first is the Power Station. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not abandoned – it’s still working. And I’ve wanted to see inside it ever since I met a security guard having a quiet fag outside. Must be amazing in there – but at the moment it has the grubby allure of a parallel-universe Wonka Chocolate Factory.

The second is the roof of Greenwich Observatory. It’s flat – people can go up there – and just think of those views.

Each of these buildings have great architectural beauty in their own ways. The Observatory has true historic value but the power station – well – I can’t even begin to think what industrial treasures lie inside there.

I can’t find any specific information on how to suggest buildings on the Open House website but I’m sure an email to them will give us some ideas. It may require lobbying…

Anyone got any other pet buildings they’d like to nose around (sorry – appreciate the architectural merit of…)

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