Two major London buildings are being put up for sale: Admiralty Arch and the News International headquarters in Wapping.
Built in 1912, Admiralty Arch, which stands at the Trafalgar Square end of the Mall, has been occupied in recent years by the Government, which is disinclined to spend taxpayer money on necessary modernistation and has decided instead to sell it. The Arch could fetch upwards of £75 million. While we're hopeful that it might finally realise its full potential as part of a giant-sized London croquet course, the rather more mundane reality is that it will become a museum or hotel. The fate of the wax nose, often (and wrongly) described as a monument to the Duke of Wellington, is uncertain at this time.
Further eastwards, the giant News International plant in Wapping will go on sale next week, after the company decided to flog it earlier this year. Fortress Wapping, as it was christened during the fractious battles of the 1980s, will be offloaded to a lucky buyer for the sum of between £150 million and £200 million. The new owners will doubtless be able to drift through the hallowed corridors and marvel at the desk at which the "It Was The Sun Wot Won It" headline was dreamt up, or wonder at the office in which Rebekah Wade submitted her resignation. While News International will remain in Wapping — most of the staff have already relocated to nearby Thomas More Square — the sale does mark the end of an era in British newspapers.
Photo of Admiralty Arch by Homemade