While London has been in lockdown because of the coronavirus emergency, East Greenwich’s gasholder has been slowly disappearing from the local skyline, with just two sections of the frame now remaining in place.
Work began on dismantling the East Greenwich gasholder, one of the last remnants of the Greenwich Peninsula’s old gasworks, last April. 853 visited the site and reported on the progress of the demolition last July.
Progress had been slower than expected – draining water from the structure had taken longer than anticipated because of limited capacity in the local sewer system. But in recent weeks, work has moved to taking down the frame. When work is finished, just three bays – about six or seven metres high – will be retained for the time being, until a use can be found for the site.
The 132-year-old gasholder was one of a pair constructed for the old gas works. The other was taken down in 1985, with the Silvertown Tunnel approach due to run through its former site.
Gasholders around the country have been demolished in recent years. Despite its age and position as a local landmark, there were no legal protections in place to protect the East Greenwich gasholder on historic grounds. English Heritage did not list it as it was too similar to another gasometer on the Old Kent Road.
The plans to demolish the much-loved structure led to a local outcry. Councillors on Greenwich’s planning board – where they do not have to follow their party’s instructions – fought a last-ditch battle to save the structure, but at a full council meeting the ruling Labour group voted down a motion opposing the demolition of the structure.
Photographer James D Evans has been tracking the progress of the demolition on his Flickr page.
Thursday update: Evans captured the final demolition work on Wednesday…
The last standard of the Greenwich Gas Holder Demolition. #jumbo #gasholder #gasometer #greenwich #london #architecture #demolition #industrialarchitecture #victorianarchitecture #heritage #documentary #history #historicalrecord #gasholders #video pic.twitter.com/sQu7iD8M1n
— Archoptical (@archoptical) April 29, 2020
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