Croydon and the Property Boom: William Mitchell and the artworks of Leon House
Croydon and the Property Boom: William Mitchell and the artworks of Leon House - A walk from East Croydon station examining the post-war architecture of the central area, ending with an interior viewing of architectural sculptor William Mitchell's concrete murals and sculptural columns at Leon House.
Saturday 2nd March 10.30am to 1.00pm led by Dawn Pereira
‘The commuters who rattle on Southern Electric through East Croydon Station, the busiest station in the whole of England outside the main London termini, have watched from 1958 to the present day the cranes over Croydon rapidly transforming this proud, commercial borough into a mini-Manhattan of offices.’
In Oliver Marriott’s ‘Property Boom’ (1967), a seminal book about post-war property development, he noted that the ’most sensational phenomenon’ thrown up by the office boom in the South-East was the development of Croydon; the town deemed the area worthy of the name ‘decentralised office centre’. My tour will examine the best examples of post-war architecture in central Croydon, concluding with an extensive viewing of the former office block Leon House, where I will discuss the origins of this development and its recent regeneration, with the developer’s intent on staying true to the building’s modernist history. I will also share how William Mitchell’s concrete artworks have proved pivotal in bringing back prestige to this now residential site. Archive film of his working methods can be found on this British Pathe film.
Dawn Pereira is a Post-Doctoral Henry Moore Fellow at the University of East London, currently writing a book about William Mitchell’s crusade to integrate architectural sculpture into the post-war urban landscape.
Meeting point: East Croydon station concourse (10.30pm)
Finishing point: Leon House (1.00pm – 15 minute walk to East Croydon station)
£15.00 Members £25.00 Non Members