1862 Exhibition Building on Cromwell Road - 19th Century

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1862 Exhibition Building on Cromwell Road - 19th Century

The Exhibition of 1862 opened in May. It was the first of a series of exhibitions following on from the success of the 1851 Great Exhibition. This time as well as manufactured goods, works of art were to be displayed. A new more permanent building was required.

Captain Fowke of the Royal Engineers was asked to design it. Although the Exhibition attracted as many visitors as in 1851, it was not considered a success. However, most of the criticism was directed at the building. It was described as the ‘ugliest building in London’ and was demolished. Some of the materials were sold to the Alexandra Palace Company. The remainder was blown up by the Royal Engineers

A competition was held to design the new Museum of Natural History. Entries were submitted anonymously. Ironically, Captain Fowke won the competition. The judges were the very same people who had heaped criticism on his exhibition building. Unfortunately, poor Captain Fowke died before the work started and a new architect was appointed.

Copyright: the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries (RBKC Libraries)
Location of original: B08 Print drawers 604

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