Saturday, August 19, 2017
Revisiting the Carlton Tavern
You may remember the Carlton Tavern, which I've written about before. It's the historic 1920s pub in Kilburn that was demolished by developers one morning in 2015 -- without permission and without notification to anyone.
The pub, one of the few buildings in that area to survive the Blitz, had been due to receive historic designation. But the developers had other plans for the site -- they wanted to build apartments there -- so they moved in backhoes before anyone could object.
Westminster Council was so incensed that they ordered the developer, who is based in Israel, to rebuild the pub brick by brick. Appeals by the developer failed, and work supposedly began in July. As I understand it, they have a year to rebuild.
I've said all along that I'd believe it when I see it, and I don't see it yet. From the street, the site looks pretty much the same. But apparently the reconstruction includes sifting through the rubble to retrieve significant architectural features, like the remains of the lettered tiles that decorated the facade. So it may be a matter of time.
When I visited, I did hear scraping sounds from behind the wall -- but it literally sounded like one or two guys with shovels. Whatever is happening, it seems to be happening very slowly.
Still, at least there's progress. If the reconstruction goes through, this will be a significant victory for preservationists and a loud and clear message to other property owners that there are consequences to defying local regulations.