Friday, 6 November 2009

Croydon Town Hall, Katharine Street CR9

Eric Aumonier, sculptor of one of the invisible winds on 55 Broadway, came from a dynasty of architectural carvers founded by his grandfather William, who started the Aumonier Studio just off the Tottenham Court Road in 1876.

So it must have been Grandad who supplied the ornamental stonework for Croydon Town Office, built in 1892.
Croydon Town Hall is an uneasy mix of the pompous and prosaic. The enormous brick and stone building housing the Corporation Offices is a hymn to the civic grandeur of the new borough, but the heraldry over the porch is devoted to everyday priorities: policing, drains and municipal amenity areas.Even the borough's motto, Sanitate Crescamus ('May We Grow in Health') is strangely uninspiring, especially compared with neighbouring Wallington's Per Ardua ad Summa ('Through Difficulties to the Heights') or Carshalton's Animo ad Fide ('By Courage and Faith').
So the scrolls round the front door are labelled Education, Protection, Justice, Order, Sanitation and Recreation. It is all a bit Daily Mail.

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