In less then 5 minutes, we were able to take a nice leisurely stroll to the Marble Arch.
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The Marble arch was designed in 1827 by John Nash as the triumphal gateway to Buckingham Palace. At the time, John Nash was an accomplished architect who was largely responsible for changing the architectural face of the city during the early 19th century thanks to his work on Regent Street, Buckingham Palace, Cumberland Terrace and his master plan for the Marylebone area, which is now the area around Regent’s Park.
In 1851 the arch was moved to its current site at the northeast corner of Hyde Park. Some stories say it was moved because its center arch
was too narrow for coaches to pass through, others claim that when the palace was expanded in 1851, Queen Victoria requested more personal space for her family.
|The Marble Arch is a fine example of 19th century architecture
Nash modeled Marble Arch
on Rome’s famous Arch of Constantine, built in the fourth century. Both structures feature Corinthian columns and three arches: one large central arch and another on either side. The top of the arch is adorned with sculpted relief panels. They represent England, Scotland, and Ireland. The arch
was also decorated with a number of fine sculptures, all of which no longer remain with the arch but have been moved elsewhere.
In 1829 King George IV commissioned an equestrian statue of himself that was to be placed on top of the central arch. It never ended up there though, and was instead installed on a plinth at Trafalgar Square, where it can still be found.
|The white marble of the Marble Arch in all its splendour
The Past and Present
Though the gate once served as the main entrance to the palace, today – to many Londoner’s distress – it is found at some kind of no man’s land, serving as a gateway between the neighborhoods of Bayswater and Marylebone.
Back when it was located near Buckingham Palace, only senior members of the Royal Family as well as the Royal Horse Artillery and King’s Troop could pass through the Marble Arch. Today however, you can freely walk through the arches.
The arch gives its name to the vicinity of its site, particularly, the southern portion of Edgware Road and also to the nearby underground station.
Uncovering the mysterious Red Telephone Box, A.K.A. Kiosk no.6
|Red Telephone Boxes like this, can be found scattered all around London
The story of K6
The K6 kiosk is identified as Britain’s red Telephone Box; in fact eight kiosk types were introduced by the General Post Office between 1926 and 1983. The K6 was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V in 1935.
Some 60,000 examples were installed across Britain, which is why the K6 has come to represent the red Telephone Box. Over 11,000 K6s remain and they are the most visible examples of the eight kiosk types.
The K6 kiosk is constructed of cast-iron sections, bolted together, standing on a concrete base. Its general form is a four-sided rectangular box with a domed roof. Three sides of the kiosk are glazed, with eight rows of three panes of glass; a wide central pane of glass and two outer, narrow panes. There is reeded molding around the window panel corresponding to the dimensions of the door opening, disguising that there is an opening on one side only.
The door is of teak, with a metal “cup” handle. For weatherproofing there is a drip cap above the door. The back panel has a blank, molded panel conforming to the dimensions of the windows, and cable holes either side of the foundry plate at the foot of the kiosk.
|Can you spot the elusive Red Telephone Box that’s trying to hide from us?
Above the main body of the kiosk is a plain entablature, set back from the face of the kiosk. The entablature carries a rectangular slot for signage, with trim molding. Set into the slot is an illuminated telephone sign, with serif capital lettering on opaque glass. Ventilation slots are inserted below the signage slot.
The K6 kiosk was commissioned by the General Post Office in 1935 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. The design needed to be suitable for universal use, not repeating the mistakes of earlier kiosks. The K2 and K3 were attractive designs but had proved problematic. The K2 was too large and too expensive; the K3 too brittle.
The General Post Office turned again to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, with his triumphant new kiosk appearing in 1936. Some 8,000 kiosks were installed as part of the “Jubilee Concession”, allowing towns and villages with a Post Office to apply for a kiosk. A year later under the “Tercentenary Concession” celebrating the Post Office’s 300th anniversary, a further 1,000 kiosks were installed over 12 years for local authorities paying a five year subscription of £4.
In 1939 a more vandal-proof Mk II version was introduced. In 1949 the Royal Fine Arts Commission intervened again, and bowing to pressure allowed rural examples to be painted in different colours. Subsequently kiosks have emerged painted in colors such as green and battleship grey. By 1960 some 60,000 examples existed, but the design was beginning to look old-fashioned.
The General Post Office was looking to create a modern replacement of the K6.
That replacement would be the K7 you see today.
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