Another Piece Of Greenwich History To Be Lost

I have discovered a new word recently. Facadism. (there should be a cedilla under the ‘c’ but Blogger doesn’t allow such flourishes…)

I suspect that Facadism is exactly what we can expect from the new Greenwich Market development. We get to keep the look of the outside – but only because it’s listed. The rest can go to hell in a handcart.

Of course most of the inside of Greenwich Market went down the Swanee back in the 1950s, and, frankly I say good riddance to much of it, having no architectural merit (or even build quality) to speak of – but that’s no reason to continue the slide into Historical Oblivion with this latest development.

I have just received an answer to my question about the fate of those little outbuildings behind the market (apparently they’re Edwardian, not Victorian. My mistake. It doesn’t make them any less important historically.)

I am informed they are ‘unsafe’ and will be demolished as part of the new plans. I suspect that if they were not in the way of Greenwich Hospital Trust’s plans, their ‘unsafeness’ might not have been quite so insurmountable.

David McFarlane, communique for the development, agrees that they have become “much loved friends to many in Greenwich” and tells me that Greenwich Hospital have agreed to “carefully photograph them for public records.”

Big deal.

Mr McFarlane tells me of all the stuff that was demolished 100 years ago to widen Durnsford Street – and to create the very buildings we’re talking about. But just because no interest in history was displayed by our ancestors does not give us the excuse to do the same to the very little we have left. Photography is not even a poor substitute.

We are still lucky enough to have a lot of Greenwich’s grand past surrounding us. But we are losing the history of the ordinary people of Greenwich on a nigh-on daily basis.


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