All The Historic London Buildings Facing Demolition Right Now

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 12 months ago
All The Historic London Buildings Facing Demolition Right Now
A yellow crane demoliting a building

The wrecking-ball-happy 1960s may be a distant memory, but stunning London buildings still face the chopping block on a continuous basis. This list specifically refers to buildings we feel have special architectural/historical merit, and will be a shame to lose, no matter what replaces them.

Liverpool Street station

Plans would see the ornate building on the right demolished (it's a modern pastiche, but still...). Image: Londonist

What: Developer Sellar plans to revamp part of the east London terminus, in a move that would see the demolition of a newly-listed 1990s train shed, and build a 16-storey tower above the concourse. Aside from the implications of spoiling a world-famous Victorian station, the plans would place a question mark over the efficacy of any kind of 'listed' status for buildings in the future. In response, Liverpool Street Station Campaign (LISSCA) has been reformed, composed of a consortium of heritage groups, and chaired by Restoration presenter and architectural enthusiast Griff Rhys Jones.
More info please: We've written about the Liverpool Street development proposals here, here and here.

Marks & Spencer, Oxford Street

The Marks and Spencer corner store on Oxford Street at night, illuminated in purple
Image by Jai'me under creative commons licence

What: Another high-profile one; the planned demolition of the beautiful art deco 1920s flagship Marks & Sparks, to be replaced with an arguable lesser Pilbrow + Partners store, has invoked the ire of figures including Simon Jenkins. What we should really be doing, goes the argument of protestors, is revamping and retrofitting.
More info please: Jenkins explains here why bulldozing the building is a mistake.

Former Museum of London and Bastion House

A dark, blocky 1970s building on stilts
Buildings like Bastion House are being demolished, rather than repurposed. Image: Londonist

What: You might argue that the 1970s Bastion House is an eyesore deserving of the wrecking ball, but local residents and Barbican Quarter Action say the blocky build should be repurposed, not demolished, as part of regeneration plans. The same goes for the now-vacated Museum of London site.
More info please: We wrote more about Bastion House here, and said a fond farewell to the Museum of London.

Leslie Green's Euston station building

A red-tile tube station with road works in front
Image: Londonist.

What: They're an icon of the metropolis, and we often find ourselves waxing lyrical about Leslie Green's oxblood-tiled tube stations. That doesn't mean they're all safe though. Indeed, Green's Euston station building at the junction of Melton Street and Drummond Street faces imminent demolition, thanks to ongoing HS2 works. Rubbing salt in the wound, it's lately been suggested that HS2 might not even reach Euston after all (since denied by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt). Oh.
More info please: Delve into the beautiful station with this article by the New Wipers Times.

St Bride's Tavern, Blackfriars

What: It's always sad to see a pub go, but when it faces demolition it's a hundred times worse. St Bride's Tavern closed its doors for the last time in December 2022, with the site earmarked for a new office building, although it will, apparently feature a pub.
More info please: Here's an article about protests against the closure of the pub, before it sadly happened.

Brick Lane/Truman's brewery

A brick wall with a Woodseer Street sign, and lizard street art
The Spitalfields Trust are opposing development around Woodseer Street and Brick Lane. Image: a_marga in creative commons

What: The Spitalfields Trust, and many others, are on the warpath against 'the soulless creep of the City' in historic Brick Lane; in particular they're concerned about major development at the junction of Brick Lane and Woodseer Street, which would see contemporary offices, retail, gyms and the like go up in the area.
More info please: Check out the Spitalfields Trust's take on why this proposed development is a bad thing.

Thamesmead Estate

Brutalist looking tower blocks as seen across a lake
The 'town of tomorrow' is being pulled down. Image: Londonist

What: Over 120 London housing estates are threatened with demolition according to Time Out, but surely the most notable is Thamesmead — the 1960s 'town of tomorrow', which quickly soured. Some of Thamesmead's utilitarian residential blocks have already been demolished, but the fate of more flats now hangs in the balance.
More info please: We wrote about plans for an £8bn new waterfront neighbourhood: Thamesmead Waterfront.

Thavies Inn, Holborn

What: One that came to our attention, as we know people who work here; at first glance, Thavies Inn appears Georgian, but the handsome building was actually built in the 1930s, and is now set to be demolished to make way for a 10-storey glass and steel edifice.
More info please: Here's an article about the plans from Building Design.

Know of somewhere in London due to be demolished, and worthy of featuring here? Tells us in the comments or email will@londonist.com

Last Updated 10 February 2023

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