Saturday, September 08, 2018

Talking about Victorian fire stations…

Which I was: the one in Redruth (here and here), sold at auction for £59,000 the other day, way over its £20,000 estimate. It will be converted into a house (yawn; still, better than it remaining derelict). My vision for it becoming a gallery and letterpress workshop, etc, will have to wait (I'd also had the brainwave of having Poldark pole dancing dark nights, but would have to insert a fireman's pole first as it didn't have one when I looked inside the building).

But good news for a London derelict Victorian fire station – it has been converted into an art gallery. The former Peckham Road fire station had been nelgected for many years. I’d passed and noticed the boarded up fire station – next to the boarded up Kennedys Sausages factory – many times, and thought it looked lovely behind its hoardings.

In 2014 an anonymous benefactor gave the fire station to the South London Gallery (which is across the road) and it’s due to open later this month, courtesy of 6a Architects. The fire station is twice the size of the original South London Gallery, and will include a more experimental arts programme and educational space.

If this sounds like a press release, fine. I'm over the moon when an old building gets a new lease of life, especially as an arts space (rather than soulless flats). I don't believe old, disused civic, commercial or religious buildings should really be turned into flats or houses; they should continue life as being of benefit to the community.

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