Thursday, July 01, 2021

King's Cross Lighthouse

London The Unfinished City
King's Cross Lighthouse

If you are ever in the King's Cross area keep an eye open and see if you can spot what looks to be a lighthouse, atop a flatiron-style building.

The building stands on the junction of Euston Road, Grays Inn Road, Pentonville Road and York Way and is an enigma to the area.

During recent years the building, and said lighthouse, were boarded up and awaiting reconstruction work, as the entire area was transformed. The lighthouse itself had been daubed with graffiti and looked to be falling apart, due to a lack of care and attention.

There are many stories and suppositions as to why there is what appears to be a lighthouse atop a building, miles from any serious navigational river, but none of these are confirmed.

It is possible that was just an architectural whim, or was meant as some grander scheme.

The most prevalent story is that it was built as a kind of advertising stunt, in the 1870-1880s, when the shop below was Netten's Oyster Bar. 

Following much regeneration, in the area, I was glad to see that the lighthouse had been rejuvenated, too, rather than have being removed or altered.

So, if you are ever near the plaza, outside King's Cross station, look across and take a look at this lighthouse, in the middle of a busy thoroughfare.

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