Thursday, 24 June 2010

Creating an education space at 6 Fitzroy Square

Our project to create and education and study space in the basement of our headquarters building at 6 Fitzroy Square in central London began in earnest this week with the removal of a safe and two safe doors left behind by the previous occupant, NatWest Bank. Weighing over a ton each and designed to resist attempts to dislodge them, these splendid relics were craned over the railings by removal specialists - all in all, a ten hour operation requiring four men and a lorry-mounted crane. Planning the project has been complicated by the complex layout of the basement, which effectively was scooped out by the bank to accommodate strongrooms, and the scope of the project has been limited by structural engineering considerations. But having completed initial fundraising we are now underway, with a pared-down scheme in tune with the new mood of austerity. By early autumn we should have new education and archive storage spaces and improved office accommodation for caseworkers.    

Thursday, 17 June 2010

New application threatens forgotten Georgian dockyard

The Georgian Group has joined forces with SAVE Britain’s Heritage, World Monuments Fund Britain, and other conservation bodies in calling for the rejection of a scheme which threatens one of the important historic sites in the South East. The area at risk is a spectacular Regency residential quarter hidden within Sheerness Dockyard in Kent. The enclave includes a Regency terrace - five Grade II* listed houses - Dockyard House, an elegant mansion, and a series of other buildings all dating from the 1820s. It is believed to be the largest group of vacant Grade II* listed domestic buildings in the south of England.

This site, which holds the key for the regeneration of the entire historic dockyard as well as the wider region, is subject to a massive development proposal, involving the breaching of the listed dockyard wall and the construction of thee new blocks of flats. The entire dockyard hit the headlines in October 2009 when it was included in the World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch, an international call to action on behalf endangered heritage sites worldwide. The dockyard was nominated by SAVE with the backing of a number of leading heritage campaigners including Dan Cruickshank and Gavin Stamp.  Read more...