Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vestibulism on Springbank

Motorists driving along Springbank are treated to an unusual sight these days - a vestibule with no building attached. The former Kensal Park Baptist Church has been levelled, except for its front entranceway. Property owner Tim Owen says he wanted to incorporate the old building into the restaurant he's constructing but discovered the church's foundation was crumbling. Well of course it was. That's how we demolish buildings in London, by neglect. At any rate, one wonders what the cost difference is between repairing a foundation and tearing a building down in order to erect a new one in its place. One would think demolition and rebuilding would be more expensive.

As construction proceeds, it will be interesting to see how the vestibule looks. I suspect about as good as the bricks of the Talbot Streetscape hanging on the outside of the JLC. Or the frontages of the Bowles Building and Capitol Theatre with entirely new buildings behind. I've mentioned this before (see December 10, 2009) - the habit of preserving building facades and pretending we've preserved heritage. Only in the case of Kensal Park, it's not even a facade being preserved, just a vestibule. We've moved into vestibulism.


  1. Judy (Smith) SteinJuly 16, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    What a terrible shame!! I used to attend that Church many, many years ago for Youth Bible classes. We used to live two doors down which of course is now the Chineses restaurant. How sad.

  2. Not to mention the fake heritage of the "Headley" (sp?) the former Sir Adam Beck homestead on Richmond Street. As you know, torn down and them built more or less with new design and new bricks. Same range of excuses though...bad foundation, bad bricks, too expensive...

    While on the topic: the former Sir Adam Beck Collegiate Institute (now the Thames Valley School Board HQ) and next to it the Sir Lady Beck elementary were never on anybody's list then or now.