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OXO Tower

South Bank Community Area: Stamford Wharf

This Arcade forms part of the redevelopment of the Coin Street area by COIN STREET COMMUNITY BUILDERS

It is dedicated to public use

 

OXO Tower from Wikipedia:

 

"The building was originally constructed as a power station to supply electricity to the Royal Mail post office, built towards the end of the 19th century (official date unknown). It was subsequently acquired by the Liebig Extract of Meat Company in the 1920s (official date unknown) manufacturers of Oxo beef stock cubes, for conversion into a cold store.[1][2]

The building was largely rebuilt to an Art Deco design by company architect Albert Moore between 1928 and 1929. Much of the original power station was demolished, but the river facing facade was retained and extended. Liebig wanted to include a tower featuring illuminated signs advertising the name of their product. When permission for the advertisements was refused, the tower was built with four sets of three vertically-aligned windows, each of which "coincidentally" happened to be in the shapes of a circle, a cross and a circle. This was significant because Skyline advertising at the time was banned along Southbank. Despite these windows being the building’s architectural focal point, the tower is not accessible by the general public. Granted access is only given to those who maintain the tower, such as electricians.

Liebig and the building were eventually purchased by the Vestey Group.[1][2] For a long time the building was left derelict until the late 1970s and early 1980s where there were several proposals to demolish the building and develop it and the adjacent Coin Street site, but these were met with strong local opposition and two planning inquiries were held. Although permission for redevelopment was granted, the support of the Greater London Council (GLC) finally resulted in the tower and adjoining land being sold to the GLC in 1984 for £2.7m—who sold the entire 13-acre (5.3 ha) site to the non-profit Coin Street Community Builders for just £750,000."

 

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