Thursday, May 24, 2007

Port of London Authority

Port of London authority buildingGrand ol' building in't it.

It's the old Port of London Authority Building, a reminder of the days when the Port of London was the source of much of the city's wealth, and the regulator merited a building of such pomp.

The building was only built in 1915 though, when the Port was only 50 years from its decline (apparently 1967 was the year when supply of dock space started to outstrip demand). Technically, the Port of London includes the whole of the River thames, and there are ports along the river closer to the sea, which means that officially the Port of London is one of the 3 busiest in the country. But you can no longer walk across the Thames, hopping from deck to deck, in the Pool of London.

The Authority is now housed in a waterfront building in Gravesend. When the authority was established in 1909 it was 'obliged to provide quays, wharfs and warehouses.' Now its duties are 'ensuring navigational safety along the Tidal Thames, promoting use of the River and safeguarding the environment.'

Quite a rousing tale!

Or not, as is more the case. But an impressive building all the same. The interior's not too bad either. And before the post war reconstruction if the City, the PLA building must have been one of the tallest buildings around, as you can sort of work out from this photo (PLA building is just visible on the right).

Man alive - what an utterly dull post this has been!
London skyline from by Mayor's office


Anonymous said...

Actually Trinity Square was the first tall office building built in London. I believe it was opened by Lloyd George in 1922.

Rhysickle said...

If it's the first, then it's surely an irony/'not an irony but a situation which most people - including TV show hosts - would call an irony as no-one - including me - really knows what irony means' that it's so close to the Tower of London, where these days there is much hoo-has about the need to keep the area tall building free.

Anonymous said...

The other original ones of the City are Ibex House (also close to the Tower of London), 68 King William Street and Adelaide House. Back then they didn't care about the Tower of London. Caring about it is a recent thing...

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