Defying Doctor Johnson's epithet that a man tired of London is tired of life, Rupert Murdoch recently decamped to America and his latest plaything, the Wall Street Journal, declaring himself finished with our city.
So what then of the building that encapsulates all he wrought on Britain's newspaper industry in the Eighties? "Fortress Wapping", the monolithic News International HQ in E1W so soubriqueted because of the heavy police guard it fielded against striking workers during the euphemistically-termed 'dispute', is apparently going to be sold. News International head honcho (and son of Rupe) James Murdoch wants to yank the company into fresh digs in Westminster or Canary Wharf pronto, and this week sales packs touting the 14-acre site will be sent out to prospective buyers.
So what next for this unloved edifice? Wapping hardly needs another forgotten relic to a bygone Eighties heyday - it already has the Tobacco Dock. No doubt "redevelopment" and "luxury housing" will be bandied about in the briefings - like the area needs any more of those. And who'd want to live in a house whose frontispiece looks like Darth Vader's graduation helmet? Maybe Boris Johnson can run his Mayoral campaign from there; his foppish style could certainly be toughened up. Or perhaps a humble London-obsessed blog with world takeover schemes could make it their new home. Any donations to the Fortress Londonist fund will be greatly received.
Rare pic of the building looking not unlovely from diamond geezer's Flickrstream