Geffrye Museum Extension Plans Rejected

The Marquis of Lansdowne pub on Google Earth

At a meeting last night, Hackney’s planning committee rejected a controversial proposal to extend the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton, with councillors voting six to two against the scheme, arguing that there was a “risk of harm” to the Museum’s existing buildings.

The design, by David Chipperfield, was for a new extension toward the south. However, the proposal called for the demolition of the Marquis of Lansdowne, a 19th-century pub on the corner of Cremer Street and Geffrye Street that has been derelict for 20 years. Conservationists argued that the pub could be re-opened and turned into a successful business, and that the Geffrye Museum, with its focus on the history of domestic life, should be supporting its redevelopment instead of bulldozing it.

Things became heated when the Geffrye’s director, David Dewing, was quoted as saying that he “had no interest in the culture of the labouring classes” (something Dewing refers to as “nonsense” in a letter published in this week’s Private Eye).

The decision to reject the proposal will come as great news to the many campaigners who have fought to save the Lansdowne, including the Spitalfields Trust, which has drawn up an alternative proposal for the pub’s renovation.

Spitalfields Life has a wonderful story about a man who was born in the pub and whose family used to run it.

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  • gressy1970

    But the Council’s rejection had nothing to do with saving the pub. The reporter has put two and two together and come up with five. The objection was to the rear elevation, nothing to do with saving the pub.

    • MattFromLondonist

      The writer does not say anywhere that the rejection was because of the pub.

    • Dean Nicholas

      Where does it say that the rejection was because of the pub?

      • Jen

        It’s an article about the decision to deny the proposal with two thirds focusing on the demolition of the pub so that’s probably why it will be interpreted in that way. Also, it says in the second paragraph – ‘However, the proposal called for the demolition of the Marquis of Lansdowne…’ which implies this was an extension of the reason given in the first paragraph.

  • zack

    “its focus on the working classes” — this ironic, or a mistake? (Sorry for being a bit daft.)

    • Dean Nicholas

      Neither really, but it was badly phrased. I’ve amended it.

  • Footprints of London

    It would be nice if they had to go and do a new design that incorporated the pub. A set of rooms that showed the evolution of pub interiors would be fascinating. Especially if it sold beer.