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Alexandra Palace BBC Studios: future world heritage site?

THAT the Alexandra Park & Palace Trust Board, with support from London Borough of Haringey, should apply for UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition for the South-East wing of Alexandra Palace. To include the BBC television studios, control rooms,dressing & transmitter rooms,telecine area,tower offices & transmission tower





(proposal above)

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Tags: Alexandra, BBC, Heritage, Palace, TV, UNESCO, studio

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Comment by Clive Carter on February 18, 2012 at 7:53

I'm pleased to report that on Thursday night, following a presentation I made at a Trust Board meeting, our Charitable Trust (a committee of the council) has adopted this Proposal as a long term strategic goal. This is years away, but the south east wing is reserved for a facility that may one day qualify along these lines.

Comment by Clive Carter on May 4, 2011 at 15:25

The Mayor of London has now formally endorsed the proposal that would see part of Alexandra Palace become a UN World Heritage site. The full text of the Mayor's letter to me, received today, reads:




Mayor's Office

Date: 03 MAY 2011


Dear Mr Carter

Re: UN World Heritage Site proposal

Thank you for writing to me seeking support of your application to UNESCO World Heritage Site Recognition for the south-east wing of Alexandra Palace.

It is important that London's heritage is preserved, experienced and celebrated by Londoners and tourists. I am proud of our four UNESCO world heritage sites in the capital and would like to see more of our historical buildings achieve this status.

Alexandra Palace is an iconic feature of London, it has been a cultural and heritage hub since its opening in 1873. Since then, I believe it has built a good reputation for itself as a premier venue for world-class events and festivals.

I welcome your proposal to gain the world heritage status of the eastern part of the building, acknowledging that it was the first BBC public television transmitting centre from 1935 to 1956.

I would like to wish you all the best with your pursuit of UNESCO World Recognition for the site.

Yours sincerely




Boris Johnson

Mayor of London

Comment by Clive Carter on April 13, 2011 at 9:56
Cupcake: a tourist hotel is not part of this proposal, it was only mentioned as an example of alternative uses in the rest of our palace. The building is enormous – seven and a half acres, and if any part of it became a hotel, it would anyway occupy only a part of the whole. The South East wing, the subject of this Proposal is approximately only 10% of the entire area of the buidling. The building is controlled by Haringey Council who are Trustee for our Charity. If we beneficiaries do not come up with viable suggestions, the council will allow largely commercial operations to dominate the building. They have already tried to sell it off once. It currently takes a large council subsidy just to keep it in its current dilapidated state ...
Comment by CrouchEnd Cupcake on April 13, 2011 at 7:10

I think this is a brilliant proposal Clive.  The only part I would oppose is turning the rest of the building into a tourist hotel.  I think it should be preserved in some form for all to enjoy and not become an exclusive destination for only the monied to use as has happened to so many historical public sites in other countries.

I'm fascinated by Alexandra Palace as I see it daily from Ridge Road - I'm looking at the broadcast tower as I type, with its red lights on.  I'm also writing a novel at the moment with Alexandra Palace as its spooky focus so should anything come of my little tome, I should like to think the structure as it stands is preserved for posterity.

It's a shame more is not made of the facilities of the other parts of the Palace though.  I've only used the pub up there once and I remember it being very ordinary.  I have no desire to see it become an expensive gastro pub, for reasons I've mentioned earlier, but something offering decent food with good value for money.  I presume the function rooms do good business - it would be a lovely spot to be married or host a party.

I had a look round at the old crumbling theatre when they opened their doors on its history a couple of years back.  How amazing would it be to try and restore that to its former Victorian glory?

Comment by Adrian Essex on April 12, 2011 at 15:57

Clive Carter has written and published a proposal for the consideration of Haringey and the Alexandra Park and Palace Trust Board.

I have read it through once and my first reaction is that this is a cogent, articulate, well researched and well written proposal. The suggestion, that the Broadcasting studios dating back to to 1936 become a UNESCO World Heritage site, on the face of it seems entirely reasonable

Perhaps the main objection to the proposal is that it is unfashionable to be cogent, articulate, well researched and well written.

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