Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dorothy Annan Murals, Fleet Building, Holborn

This morning I noticed something that has been staring me in the face for fifteen years. These tiled murals are on the side of a former BT building, the Fleet Building, between circuses Ludgate and Holborn. The building has been closed for some while clearly awaiting re-development or demolilshing. It occured to me that that would be a pity as the murals are pungently of their time - 1960, in fact, as a signed tile by the artist, Dorothy Annan testifies.

A little scratching around the internet later and I discover that investment banking giant Goldman Sachs own the Fleet Building but have been stymied in plans to re-develop it because of the listing of the murals as Grade 2 by the DCMS after petition by English Heritage. Whilst it's thoroughly satisfying in the current climate for a banking institution to be tripped up by the work of a little-known artist in conjunction with the DCMS no doubt they will get their way in the end. One hopes that the murals will find a new home elsewhere in the process.

UPDATE: This morning (20/11/12) I walked past the Fleet Building and this was what I saw (right). Clearly work has started on dealing with the murals. Whether they are being cleaned, removed or destroyed I cannot tell. I am pleased that I had an opportunity to see them in situ before this rather serious and exclusive-looking hoarding went up.

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