Friday 6 April 2012

85 Fleet Street EC4

85 Fleet Street was built in 1934 by Sir Edwin Lutyens for the Press Association and Reuters, both of whom coincidentally needed headquarters at the time. The design included a figure known as The Herald by Sir William Reid Dick, who had collaborated with Lutyens on the Midland Bank building in Poultry.
The Herald is an angel sitting on the globe, blowing the trumpet of thrice-distilled truth. The Times liked it but the Newspaper World compared it rather rudely to an American Pentecostal preacher sitting on a melon.
The Herald has gone down in the world since he was made. He was originally placed on the parapet but during the war was brought down to the oculus over the front door so more people could see him. And he was originally gilded (at a cost of £100) but no trace of the gilding survives today.
The keystone over the oculus has a rather jolly baroque cartouche with a knight slaying lies and untruth over a monogram of the letters R and PA surrounded by the electric waves that brought their reports from round the world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Have walked past this often and wondered who the sculpture was by and what it represents. Really helpful . Will have to learn more of Reid Dick...