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Thursday, July 27, 2017

LONDON - A Tale Of Three Buildings

Grenfell Tower
Victoria Palace
The Shard

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. 

Grenfell Tower 
Named after the road.
Aluminum and Insulation cladding
They are searching the building
with drones
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
HMS Belfast
St Pauls Cathedral
The muddy Thames and St Pauls
Barge on the river
Kings College

Drinks in The Shard
Joan and Me
Two happy campers after martinis
80 stories up
The Shard from our restaurant

1 comment:

Bruce Buckley said...

Harry, as always, your adventures are over the top!