Historic Crystal Palace subway could host cinema and art

Crystal Palace Park subway

Crystal Palace Park subway

Nick Catford

The historic subway in Crystal Palace Park could be re-opened to the public and host events such as cinema, poetry readings and cheese and wine evenings.

The ornate structure is currently closedbecause it its retaining walls are unstable.

It was built in 1865 as a means to transport visitors to the Palace without them having to cross the dirty roads.

Architects Karl H Richter and Rolf Peruzzo now want to restore the subway for community use.

They are in discussion with English Heritage and Bromley Council about how to best restore it.

Mr Richter said: “Our plans are very modest and all our ideas for events would be temporary. We have thought about cheese and wine evenings, cinema, readings and art exhibitions involving members of the Crystal Palace community.”

The first stage would involve gaining access to make the walls safe and carrying out conservation work before considering the different community uses.

The council has been supportive of the project so far although it is in the very early stages, Mr Richter said.

Consultation meetings with the public are expected to take place near the end of the year.

Mr Richter added: “We know the issue of Crystal Palace Park is very sensitive and we don’t want to get our hopes up because this is part of a bigger agenda but we don’t believe this aspect is contentious.”

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