World Monuments Fund

Battersea Power Station on list of 100 of the World's most endangered monuments

On 25th September 2003, list of the World's 100 Most Endangered Monuments for 2004 was announced by the World Monuments Fund. Battersea Power Station has been included on the list following an application by Battersea Power Station Community Group, sponsored by Lord Dubs of Battersea.

Other UK monuments included on the 2004 list are: Strawberry Hill, Twickenham; Vincent Street Church, Glasgow; Stowe School, Bucks; and Shakleton's Hut in Antarctica. Other monuments worldwide included on the list include the Great Wall of China, the Panama Canal, and the ancient Nineveh and Nimrud palaces in Iraq. Click here to see the full list.

Battersea Power Station has been derelict for 20 years and without a roof since 1987. The Current owners Parkview International (Halcyon Estates) acquired the building in 1993 but no works have been carried out since then. English Heritage lists the Power Station as "very bad" on its own list of buildings at risk.

BPSCG made the nomination at the end of 2002 and we showed a delegation of experts from the New York, Paris and London offices of the WMF around the building in March. BPSCG was told of the decision in June.

The UK launch of the list of 100 most endangered monuments took place at St. George's Bloomsbury on 25th September, at a meeting attended by representatives of all the UK sites. In his press release, the UK Director of the WMF, Colin Amery, said:

World Monuments Funds' international jury decided to put Battersea Power Station on to the 2003 Watch List because it highlights the fact that important industrial structures of the last century are now at risk. Battersea Power Station is a London icon - powerful in every sense of the word. It is as important an architectural landmark as St. Paul's Cathedral. The Fund is putting it in the spotlight of its international list for all Londoners - who, we believe, should have more say in how such a great building should be re-used for the benefit of the whole city. It is too important to become some giant indoor emporium of exclusive shops and restaurants.

In his speech at the UK launch of the list, Lord Dubs suggested that Parkview surrender the freehold of Battersea Power Station to a public interest trust and enter into a leaseback agreement that would free up the 18 acres of surrounding land for their development.

The inclusion of Battersea Power Station on the WMF is a significant development, which will open up the debate about the building and possibly secure funding for urgent repairs as well. We will be campaigning with the WMF to get the listing of the building increased to Grade I to reflect is international importance.

Herbert Muschamp, chief architecture critic of the New York Times has written an in-depth piece about the list of 100 Most Endangered Sites, including a reference to Battersea, which he knew as a boy. Click here for the full article.


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