London, UK- Earls Court Faces Demolition

London borough approves plans to replace C. Howard Crane’s art deco venue with thousands of homes.

It has played host to chocolate festivals and fascist rallies, royal tournaments and performers including the Rolling Stones and Madonna. But now the art deco Earls Court exhibition centre will face the wrecking ball, after Kensington and Chelsea approved plans to replace it with thousands of homes.

Designed by Detroit architect C Howard Crane, conjurer of fanciful picture palaces across America, the exhibition hall was the biggest indoor space in Europe when it opened in 1937. A deft feat of engineering, spanning four different railway tracks, the gargantuan column-free arena was designed to seat 23,000 and contained a 60m-long swimming pool – which could be transformed into a flat-floor exhibition space at the touch of a button.

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Thanks to THS member Howard Haas for submitting this story.

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