Museum of London moving to Smithfield?
The following article was published by Salon IFA
15 December 2014
Next issue: 5 January 2015
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of news from the heritage sector. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contribution that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website. News and feedback for publication in Salon should be addressed to the Editor, Christopher Catling.
Museum of London considering a move to Smithfield General Market
The Museum of London has revealed that it is considering moving from its current Powell & Moya-designed building to Smithfield General Market, which was saved from demolition to make way for an office and retail scheme in July when Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, ruled that the scheme would have ‘an extremely harmful effect on the significance of the General Market as an important non-designated heritage asset’.
Reports in the media last week said that the museum had identified the former market as one of three options for its future. A spokesperson for the Museum of London said: ‘in order to create a museum that meets the needs of Londoners and visitors to the city, the Museum of London is considering a range of very speculative options for our long-term future and a detailed appraisal of each is under way’.
Our Fellow Marcus Binney, Chairman of SAVE, which campaigned long and hard to protect the market buildings from demolition, said that the idea of converting the market to museum premises was ‘a very interesting suggestion’, while Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said: ‘sensitive designs for the relocated museum could both secure the future of the historic London building and increase the Museum of London’s visitor numbers. The Society looks forward to seeing any plans in due course’.