A towering disappointment

Originally uploaded by Joffley.

I am a naturally nosy person. And nothing appeals to me more than getting a chance to snoop round buildings (and building sites) from icons to long neglected eyesores.

As a result, London Open House weekend – the annual opportunity to get a peek inside the capital’s buildings – has become a red letter event in my diary. But this year it will be tinged with disappointment.

Over the years I have been inside HM Treasury, St Pancras Chambers and Channel 4’s Horseferry Road building. But the one building I have longed to view is the BT Tower, or more specifically the viewing deck at the top.

Maybe it is because it has been off limits for most of my lifetime after its closure for security reasons, but the BT Tower has always appealed to me more than any other tall building in London. But it has never been included in the Open House London programme – until this year.

To mark the 30th anniversary of its closure, a handful of lucky people will get to see inside over the weekend. When I heard of its inclusion, I rushed to my computer to find out how I could join a tour, only to find out that the draw for the tickets had already taken place. Naturally, I was pretty peeved to be missing out.

Still, open house weekend will still be an unmissable event. This year I plan to focus on residential properties and eco-friendly design. The 3 Acorns Retro Eco House looks particularly interesting.

For first timers, I would advise concentrating on a couple of biggies – maybe the Foreign Office and Channel 4. Other lesser known highlights include Westminster Archives with its celebrity packed births and marriage registers and Cecil Sharp House in Camden.

My other piece of advice is get there early. Open House Weekend becomes more popular by the year and it will be difficult to see all the buildings you want to if you have to stand in endless queues.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

3 thoughts on “A towering disappointment

  1. Mrs Jones got to go up the BT Tower when she worked on their advertising account a few years back, for some private corporate event. She even got to eat in the restaurant thing at the top, although as she’s scared of heights I’m not sure she got the best out of it. The tower was closed because of the threat of IRA terrorism, as I recall.

    One London landmark I’d like to see opened up for a look around would be one of the old disused Tube stations. Down Street on the Piccadilly Line would be a good choice, it was used by Churchill and the War Cabinet in 1940 when the Cabinet War Rooms weren’t available.

  2. rosieniven says:

    Oh, I love disused tube stations too. Over the weekend they were allowing people to go down to Aldwych – another Piccadilly Line one. I think there are a couple more on the Piccadilly: Museum and York Road.

    One of my former editors went to a function in the BT Tower once. I forgot to say in my blog is that I hope this isn’t the last opportunity for years to see inside the BT Tower. Let’s hope the owners take note and included it in the Open House programme every year.

  3. […] 7, 2010 in Journalism A few weeks ago, I blogged about my disappointment on missing out on the chance to sample views from London’s BT Tower as part of Open House […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: