CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

It could be a Rachel Whiteread but it’s not…

17 September, 2020

Not a Rachel Whiteread

• VISITORS to Somers Town may be bemused by the Rachel Whiteread-a-like installation appearing phoenix-like, the last remnant of the demolition of an entire Phoenix Road row of locally-listed buildings.

A rump of a building completely filled in by concrete. But, no, it’s not an artwork; it’s the result of bungling.

There appears to be a stand-off between the developers of 42 Phoenix Road and the owners of Maria Fidelis School site over their shared wall.

Last year the school contractors filled a section of the old Maria Fidelis building with concrete and sealed it up rather than enter into a party wall agreement with their neighbours. They have since applied for planning permission to keep the structure.

You may well wonder what the role of Camden Council is this? Somers Town is being dismantled, building by building, park by park, with precious green space in our park sold off for a 28-storey luxury tower, yet we hear of commitment to environment, community, and social housing.

About as much use as a house full of concrete. Perhaps it should stand for ever as an artwork, a memorial to incompetence and hollow (sic) promises, a useless result of neglect of heritage, local wishes, disregard of environment and community.

And at least with an artwork, locals can benefit by charging visitors!

DIANA FOSTER
Somers Town History Club

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