Urban Sightseeing: #1 Gasometers

By Londonist Last edited 115 months ago
Urban Sightseeing: #1 Gasometers
Wandsworth Bridge Road
Wandsworth Bridge Road
Hackney
Hackney
Bow Common Lane
Bow Common Lane
Kennington
Kennington
Chelsea
Chelsea

Ah, the strange beauty of gasometers. These metal giants grace our landscapes with their brooding magnificence, either full, rusty and textural, or with their open lattice-work skeletons making tartan patterns against the sky.

A BBC article from January 1999 foretold that Transco intended to dismantle all but a few of them over the next 10 years. Well that 10 years is up right now. Let the iconic Kings Cross site, where only one sad shell still stands following upheavals for the Channel link, be a lesson. It's now more important than ever to get some good photos of the ones that are still standing such as Lots Road in Chelsea, Bow Common Lane E3 and Haggerston E2, to name just three other London sites.

So what's the future for the ones that are left? The Kings Cross gasometers will rise again, cocooning drum-shaped blocks of luxury apartments. A similar, and more elegant, scheme was recently completed in Vienna. Perhaps it wouldn't really be such a bad thing if more of London's gasometers could follow this lead; better than losing them all completely.

By Jane. You can see more of Jane's London photo collections, covering everything from boot scrapers to weather vanes, over at Janeslondon and Jane's Flickrstream.

Last Updated 15 January 2009