I've always been aware of this tower in the middle of Imperial College which rises above South Kensington, but only recently discovered it's provenance. It is the only remaining piece of a large complex built with donations from all over the empire to celebrate Victorias Golden Jubilee in 1887. Originally the buildings housed the Imperial Institute, forerunner of the Commonwealth Institute, but it proved too large and so Imperial College took over a lot of the site. Old buildings are held in much more esteem now than they were, but after the war Victorian buildings were amazingly looked down on, and the Empire was passing away, so in 1957 the original buildings were demolished except for the Queen's Tower. The architect was Thomas Collcutt, not so well known, who worked for G.E. Street no doubt on the Law Courts, an interminable project like the British Library of our own time. Collcutt also did the original Savoy buildings facing the Strand and Lloyd's Register of Shipping in the City. His Palace Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, designed for D'Oyly Carte and opened in 1891, is the building of his that I've always liked and has something of the feel of the language one sees in old pictures of the Imperial Institute.
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