Yesterday we visited three buildings - Grenfell Tower - Victoria Palace - and The Shard. Two were in various stages of destruction. One was built new in time for the London Olympics.
We rode the subway to all 3 buildings.
The tower was built in 1974 - about the same year at the Tamaqua Hi-Rise. In 2015 - they did a renovation on the building cladding it with insulation and aluminum. It was built under Parker Morris Standards - but the recent renovations did not bring the building up to current standards which would include sprinklers. A refrigerator caught fire on the 4th floor - and the new renovation acted like a chimney spreading the fire. The residents were trained to stay in their apartment until help arrived. The building is 24 stories tall.
No one knew officially how many people lived in this government housing. Many residents illegally subleased the apartments. About 300 people lived there - 80 bodies have been found.
The area is reeling in the sadness of the moment.
Victoria Palace is an old theater next to Victoria Station. For 10 years - our favorite play made this theater its home. We have seen the play many times about a boy who wanted to become a ballet dancer to leave his coal region home.
They have recently leveled the whole block where the theater stood. They have saved the front facade for a new theater.
The Shard is London's tallest skyscraper. It sits along the Thames River near the Tower Bridge. The Tower Bridge got its name from being near the famous castle - The Tower of London. The Shard is 1012 feet tall. It is called The Shard because it looks like a broken piece of gas piercing the heart of London. Our buddy Joan took us there for a drink.
You can pay $25 to go to the observation deck at the top of the building - or you can choose to go to the several restaurants and bars on the 80th floor - and get a similar view for the price of a drink. Drinks range in price from 4 to 20 euros. My glass of Cornwall Cider was 5 euros. Lulu and Joan had martinis - and had to be carried to supper. We had dinner at Giusippes near the foot of the building.
We have one day left in London. We are looking forward to The Carol King Show for our last night in town. We fly home Friday.
|Named after the road.|
|Aluminum and Insulation cladding|
|They are searching the building|
|Safety wall around building|
|Two babies were thrown from building|
|Note heart shaped sign|
|A local church|
|The scaffold over the facade of the theater|
|Note the Hamilton sign|
|My favorite was the Shard's urinals|
|What views while you pee|
|The Tower Bridge or the Tower of London|
|St Pauls Cathedral|
|The muddy Thames and St Pauls|
|Barge on the river|
|Drinks in The Shard|
|Joan and Me|
|Two happy campers after martinis|
|80 stories up|
|The Shard from our restaurant|