Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hoe Street Central Parade, Walthamstow

I went down to London today to see my fellow Liberator collective member Catherine Furlong. She lives in Walthamstow and we visited the William Morris Gallery there.

On the way I was taken with this piece of post-war municipal architecture, the Hoe Street Central Parade.

Hugh Pearman writes about it well:
It’s a brick postwar group, L-shaped on a prominent junction, mixed-use, shops below, flats and some civic offices above, with a modestly heroic stone-clad clocktower marking the corner. 
What caught my eye was the style: pure Festival of Britain. It has the lot: wavy thin-shell concrete canopy, shallow copper pitched roofs with prominent chimneys, busy angled window bays, jaunty balconies with spindly ironwork railings, colourful mosaic decoration, patterned-ceramic tiling to the flank of the clocktower and – best of all – a huge open loggia on top of it, purpose if any unclear, the grandest of pigeon roosts. 
It’s a bit run down and it is festooned with satellite dishes but it is in use and intact. It’s rare for me to find a bit of postwar civic architecture that doesn’t slightly depress me but here is a shining exception.

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