Nope, not the football team. Not after their recent dip in form. We’re talking about the original Palace. The one made from good old Victorian blood, sweat & tears. Or, somewhat more accurately, good old Victorian glass and steel.
Architect Ray Hall dreams of rebuilding the long-lost wonder, and now claims the battle is half won. An undisclosed private donor has promised half of the £60 million required to resurrect the iconic greenhouse.
Quick recap for those who’ve misplaced their memory neurons. The original Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton, went up in Hyde Park 1851 for Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition. Thence, to Sydenham, where its prismatic influence gave name to the whole area now known as Crystal Palace. Like all of London’s great buildings, though, it decided to burn down (1936) and was never replaced. Until, perhaps, 2010.
If Ray gets his way (and we hope he does), the Palace could rise again before the Olympics, bringing a new tourist destination to the area just as the extended East London line gives them the means to get there.
And, like everything these days, the new palace would be oh-so-eco-friendly:
Photovoltaic glass will be used – this absorbs energy from the sun and turns it into electricity. Just by standing there, the palace would be able to generate between six and eight megawatts of electricity, enough for 10,000 homes.
Unfortunately, they’re only going for something a quarter the size of the original. Can’t have everything, we suppose.
What do readers think? Should we rebuild this great emblem of Victorian ingenuity, or should sleeping dogs be left to lie?