This Remarkable Vision Of Regent Street Is From 90 Years Ago

By M@ Last edited 35 months ago
This Remarkable Vision Of Regent Street Is From 90 Years Ago

This is a vision of the West End's future, drawn up in 1929. Architect Howard Robertson has swept away the Georgian terraces in favour of glass canopies and elevated walkways.

Pedestrians are kept separate from the traffic, in a scheme that prefigures the Square Mile's pedway and Barbican highwalks. Meanwhile, shops and offices climb many storeys, topped by flags and radio masts.

As accompanying text notes: "Everything in the picture has been designed to let in as much light and give as much space as possible. The smoke nuisance has been abolished by universal electric heating. Vast roof-spaces are utilised to the fullest extent as thoroughfares, gardens, and aircraft landing platforms, and the shopping centres have been transferred to roofs and raised terraces." It didn't quite pan out like that, though full marks for predicting the rise of glass architecture.

Robertson, whose firm was based on Regent Street, would go on to make a significant mark on London. His Shell Centre tower remains a familiar landmark on the South Bank.

Image (c) Illustrated London News Group via the British Library Board.

Last Updated 17 October 2018