Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mourning the Carlton Tavern

The other day I walked past the site of the former Carlton Tavern, the 1920s-era pub in Maida Vale that was wantonly demolished by some Israeli developers after their plans to build flats on the site were rejected. Just as the government was taking steps to preserve the pub, they brought in backhoes. There are no good words for people like that.

(And here's a question -- who actually owned and operated those backhoes? Why aren't those guys being prosecuted? Doesn't a property owner have to show evidence of government permission before demolition firms will begin knocking things down?)

As you can see from the graffiti, the locals support the government's subsequent order that the pub must be rebuilt brick by brick. I question whether it will ever happen. Supposedly the developers have an 18-month deadline and will be unable to sell the site unless it's reconstructed, but I read that an appeal was planned, so we'll see. I have yet to see any public comment from the developers at all.

Part of the charm of the tavern came from its exterior signage, portions of which still survive (sort of). But that's pretty much all that can now be seen beyond the plywood wall surrounding the site.

I think some of these damaged tiles should be removed and incorporated into any new building as a reminder of what's happened here.

Dave, our friend Gordon and I always talked about trying this pub, but we never got there before this ghastly event. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today, as they say!


  1. One just does not expect a landmark to disappear overnight. What a tragedy!

  2. I can't imagine that this place can be rebuilt. I'm sure fragments of it could be incorporated into another building but, rebuilding seems almost impossible. The sheer arrogance of some developers amazes me.

  3. It seems those developers should be facing a whopping lawsuit.

  4. So sad & unnecessary! And childish too!

  5. I read about this story - it's really awful behaviour. Didn't realise it was in your neighbourhood!
    The thing is, to pretty much everyone I talked to about this here in Israel, it's really *typical* awful behaviour. See, if something like that happened over here there wouldn't have been the order to rebuild it; the developers would have gotten some sort of retrospective approval of the plans, maybe with some insignificant slap on the wrist (a fine or something like that). You'd think that with as much history as we have we would be more conservation-minded, but nope. So the developers probably thought they could get away with it in the UK as well. I'm so glad they were proven wrong.

  6. Oops, retroactive, I meant, not retrospective. I'm probably too tired to be writing stuff.

  7. that's too bad. I think it's amazing that there are buildings still up and being used that are centuries old in Europe. Houston cares naught for anything old. hell, it can be new or award winning. not too long ago they tore down the art deco built section of a shopping area that expanded and rebuilt that section of the shopping center. stupid stupid people.