3 July 2019

Goodby to Niclar House – an art deco delight

Shocking news.
On Sunday last I was leading my Art Deco Spitalfields tour and we were heading northwards up Bishopsgate. The next stop was to be Niclar house with its 1930s castellated faience tiled façade. I had already pre-warned my group that this end of the street was in the process of being renovated and that the building we were about to see and talk about had been behind nets and scaffold for the past few months – but never mind, I had pictures to show them and plenty to talk about.

Nicholls & Clarke's Niclar House in 2018 (Google streetview)
But when we got there, oh the disappointment and shock (and tongue-biting frustration):
Pic taken from the top of a bus (Sunday 30 June 2019)
Where is façadism when you really need it?
Norton Folgate sits at the upper end of Bishopsgate and has for years been cause of dispute about the conservation of its last remaining historic buildings. However, the buildings that abut Norton Folgate were not included as they did not form part of the same street – they appear[ed] to be a continuation but they actually form[ed] the first section of Shoreditch High Street, which had become separated from the rest of that road when the railway arrived.
Niclar House at No3-8 Shoreditch High Street was the swanky public/street-facing offices and showrooms of Nicholls and Clarke, plumbers' and builders' supplies who, since 1875, had made very good use of the adjacent railway to ship their products all over the country from their huge warehouses in Blossom Street at the rear (often used as a film location).
In June the demolition crew arrived. The Art Deco façade was covered with scaffolding, netting and opaque sheeting and I rather hoped that it was being protected and saved.
But no.
The powers-that-be and the developers obviously don't think that Victorian and unique Art Deco buildings are significant. This would also further explain the loss of The Water Poet public house. I am still unclear what will happen with N&C's still partially-erect evocative Victorian warehouses as shown in the pic above. I wonder what happened to all those tiles? Were they saved? Will the be reused individually or rebuilt en-masse? Answers on a postcard please.
Also see The art deco clock.
Nicholls & Clarke still trade today.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note that only comments relevant to the post will be pulished. If you have written anything perceived to be an advertisement, your comment will be deleted.