Plans for the redevelopment of Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End, one of London's earliest and finest Modernist-style buildings, have been unveiled.
The Grade II* listed town hall, built in the Thirties, was the home of Hornsey Borough Council until 1966 and nowadays is the haunt of a few remaining Haringey council staffers, with the space out front inhabited by skateboarders, indolent drunks and defecating pigeons.
In 2007, the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust was founded, charged with preserving the building and organising its restoration, and the result is a £16 million project that will see the Hall become an arts centre, featuring a two-screen cinema and performance space. An inner courtyard will be covered with a glass roof and turned into a gallery space and cafe, which will please the residents of N8 no end as the area is a wasteland when it comes to posh eateries and drinking holes.
The plans, by architects McAslan & Partners, are on display for the public this week. Haringey council hopes the Hall can be the hub of a rejuvenated Hornsey that will rival Camden as north London's creative centre, with perhaps local resident and ex-Busted boy Matt Willis taking on the Amy Winehouse role. At the very least it should help re-popularise the area's name as "Hornsey", and perhaps the pretentious pronounciation of "crew-shorned" will be dispensed with permanently.