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.