While the Southbank Centre and V&A missed out on the latest round of lottery-funded munificence, Alexandra Palace has secured more than £16.8m towards its proposed £24m revamp.
The Terry Farrell-designed brief, images of which can be seen in the gallery above, is ambitious. It proposes to construct a hotel in the building, restore the old theatre into an event space and install shops and cafes in the terrace. The architect also wants to spruce up the entrances to the palace. There’s a comprehensive guide on the Alexandra Palace website which gives additional information on how things may develop.
An initial £800k of the Lottery money will fund further, more detailed plans, with the remaining money released toward the end of the year. Planners are eyeing a competition date of 2017.
This isn’t the first attempt to revitalise the dilapidated Grade II-listed building, which first opened in 1875 as a north London rival to the Crystal Palace. This article from the Independent in 1994 tells the story of Ally Pally’s blighted history and various rescue attempts. It’s a strange tale, one that takes in a mysterious American benefactor, several fires and a gypsy curse. Hopefully the new plan won’t be quite so surreal.