Crossrail Threatens Immigrant Museum

M@
By M@ Last edited 135 months ago
Crossrail Threatens Immigrant Museum
19 Princelet.jpg

Crossrail. Will they, won’t they? This project has been hanging around longer than a sloth in a gibbet. And seems to be causing a comparable stink. At least with the residents of Spitalfields and Whitechapel, where ‘No to Crossrail’ signs are as common as Brick Lane tikka touts.

Today, a new concern about the much-delayed rail link surfaced. The Museum of Immigration and Diversity, at 19 Princelet Street, claim that construction work could undermine the foundations of the museum, which is ‘on the Buildings At Risk Register and needs major work to prevent the walls and ceilings from collapsing’. Eek, they didn’t tell us that when we paid a visit a few weeks ago.

The museum’s chairperson, Susie Symes, will be giving ‘evidence’ to the select committee handling the Crossrail bill later this month. If the project goes ahead, and she turns out to be correct, the Museum may have to close. This would be a sad, sad loss. The building, half derelict, is immensely atmospheric, and tells its stories in unique ways. The former synagogue and home of Huguenot silk weavers raises important questions at a time when immigration is once again one of the pressing issues of the day.

Transport for London say tish and pish to the claims:

The museum will not be affected by the work nor damaged by the tunnelling which will be more than 100ft below ground.

Hmmm, well, perhaps these people might have an interesting retort. Or these.

Image from Simon Scott's Flickr stream.

Last Updated 05 June 2006

Paul Mison

So a building which already "needs major work to prevent the walls and ceilings from collapsing" and is "half derelict" might fall over if there's some tunnelling near it? Would it also fall over if, ooh, the wind blew a bit hard? Or if a fly fell on it?

Oh well, let's not build Crossrail just for this one building. Just make sure you keep your whining about the Central Line to a minimum, because there's no way it'll get less crowded without something to relieve the congestion on it. Still, it's for a museum that's "immensely atmospheric", so that's OK.