Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sledge tower. By Barratt. Did anyone ask Percy?

The latest tower block of unaffordable private flats being erected in Dalston Square is to be called Sledge Tower.

Why so?

An 1886 sketch of Dalston's Circus - the North London Colosseum and Amphitheatre

Dalston Square is built on the ruins of Dalston's 1886 circus building. By 1898 the circus had become a Victorian variety theatre. In 1920 it became the magnificent Gaumont cinema. Then in 1963 it reinvented itself again to become the landmark Club Four Aces - a legendary London club for international black music and a second home for black musicians in Dalston.

In 2007, when owned by Hackney Council , the authorities demolished the circus building, crushed it, ground it up and used it in the foundations for Barratt's New Dalston tower block development.

With the destruction of the circus we lost Dalston's grandest historic building for the performing arts, the oldest circus entrance in the country, locally listed Georgian houses - urban gems - and also the thirty year cultural legacy of Dalston's African-Caribbean community.

So the authorities decided to name the tower blocks of unaffordable private flats after the black musicians associated with the club which they demolished.

Patronising hypocrisy... or what?

Did anyone ask Percy Sledge if he wanted a tower block named after him?

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