Deptford Town Hall restored

Deptford Town Hall, the Grade II-listed building on New Cross Road, has been unwrapped, following recent restoration work.

The building is owned by Goldsmiths, University of London and the work is part of the college's strategy to enhance its estate, which sits at the heart of New Cross and does much to define the area.

Like the Richard Hoggart building refurbishment, the work has had a dramatic effect, turning an austere building into an uplifting presence on the high street.

Due to accessibility issues, its use as a public venue is limited, but it's great to see the area's best buildings being treated with due reverence and the unwrapping represents another important milestone in the development of the Goldsmiths masterplan - about which more soon.

Full disclosure: I am on the Council of Goldsmiths.

7 comments:

terrencetrentderby said...

Does the masterplan include those skanky sheds on St James?

John Huntingdon said...

Would be good to see what's going on inside the building. Agreed handsome a facade

Gill said...

The building was always handsome, never austere. They've put on a new roof, painted the window frames and tarted up the clock and the lead cupula. No more than that.

Matt-Z said...

Indeed, a similar refresh as to that undertaken when the college moved in during the 90s, when I think the stone was subject to a deep clean as well.

Goldsmiths has a patchy record when it comes to architecture and buildings in New Cross. It's good that they have spruced up the Town Hall, I don't know the specifics of the lease (or the listing) but bold, Edwardian baroque style halls such as this aren't two-a-penny, and I'm sure they are obliged to keep it in good nick.

Other buildings in the Goldsmiths estate fare less well - the terrace immediately to the left of the Town Hall is better since the roof was replaced, but still in need of attention, and it's incredible that while the scaffolding was up they didn't take the opportunity to paint the window frames. The town houses further up Lewisham Way are also somewhat neglected. The strongest criticism is reserved for the buildings Goldsmiths has erected rather than inherited. The aforementioned prefabs are of course terrible and a low-rise waste of a decent space. Presumably they are full of asbestos or built on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground, either way nobody dares disturb them. Heading down New Cross Road you face the twin horrors of Dean House, resembling something knocked up by Wimpey on a busy weekend in the 90s housebuilding boom (pity the poor students whose bedroom windows open right onto the pavement, bus stop, and Venue punters stumbling from the kebab shop), and Chesterman House, where it appears the builders went bust in between finishing the breeze block walls and getting round to putting any render or cladding on. Goldsmiths' much-flaunted flair for design is sadly lacking in most of its modern edifices.

Robert said...

I always thought that Raymont Hall (halls of residence) on Wickham Road is one of the best buildings in Brockley. And the IT building at the end of Lewisham Way (by Allies and Morrison) and Art building (Will Alsop) are very good contemporary buildings. So it's not all bad.

Tamsin said...

Majestic staircase, awe-inspiring former council chamber and spacious committee rooms. Worth getting there for the occasional public events (usually very badly advertised) like the gathering after the V2 memorial service a couple of weeks ago.

Tamsin said...

I think the pre-fabs were chucked up very quickly during the war when the existing Civil Defence post - in a building commandeered from Goldsmiths - was flattened by the November 1944 bomb attack

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