Thursday, 8 May 2008

33 Eastcheap

One of the unexpected side effects of encouraging decoration in architecture is that it perpetuates the history of the site. The architect has to come up with suitable decorative motifs, and history is often a rich source of inspiration.
At 33 Eastcheap, built in 1868, the architect Robert Lewis Roumieu placed a vigorous portrait of a boar crashing through some undergrowth at the centre of his design. Why? After all, the place was a vinegar warehouse, despite the faintly ecclesiastical tone of the Victorian Psycho style architecture.
The answer is rather interesting and splendid. The site was that of the Boar's Head Tavern, haunt of that great tosspot Sir John Falstaff in Henry IV Part II.
The building is sadly neglected at the moment. I think it would be totally spiffing if it were converted back into the Boar's Head Tavern, specialising in cakes and ale, apple-johns, canary wine, mouldy stewed prunes and dried cakes.

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