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Resurrection of The Crystal Palace

In the 1936 London said goodbye to a famous icon when The Crystal Palace was completely destroyed by fire. Now a Chinese property developer has unveiled his plans to restore Crystal Palace to its Victorian glory.

The idea is to create a new attraction on the original site at a cost of half a billion pounds. Today the Mayor backed the project, but not all local residents are convinced. Our political correspondent Simon Harris reports.

'Precious parkland' not the right place for Crystal Palace

While I'm sure many people would love to see the Crystal Palace raised from the ashes, this precious parkland isn't the right place for it. When the palace was moved there in the 1850s the newly laid out park was near countryside, but today it's an urban park with a lot of space already taken up by the national sports centre, car parks, roads and the caravan site.

The Mayor and the council need to concentrate on enhancing the park and backing the community groups who are doing their best to restore heritage features without losing green space. I'm particularly worried that this announcement might derail the Heritage Lottery Foundation funding bid and the plans to open the subways.

– Darren Johnson, Chair of the London Assembly


Mayor: 'Exciting new chapter' for Crystal Palace Park

Since the iconic building was destroyed, the conundrum of what to do with the crumbling site has not been successfully resolved.

Today's announcement marks an exciting new chapter for Crystal Palace Park. This is a vision that could not only see a world-class landmark building reinstated, of the quality of the original, but the restoration of the entire surrounding park, bringing jobs and growth.

Together with Bromley council and taking account of the views of local people and leading experts, we'll now be working closely with ZhongRong Group to progress these plans in more detail.

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London


Crystal Palace building 'same scale' as the original

The new building will be on the same scale as the huge structure of iron and glass designed by Joseph Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. It was the largest glass structure in the world before it was destroyed by fire in 1936.

It was later relocated to south-east London to the area which became known as Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace in 1936 after it was destroyed by fire Credit: Press Association
Taken ten miles away this image shows the one remaining tower of Crystal Palace still standing during the fire Credit: Press Association
The palace, consisting of glass panes on an iron frame, Credit: Press Association
  1. Simon Harris: ITV London Correspondent

Developers to treat Crystal Palace 'like an art work'

Ni Zhaoxing says he has a decade of experience of working with steel and glass and he is in talks with the government, the GLA and Bromley Council to get around "restrictions" on developing the park. Mr Ni says he will treat the palace "like an art work, like falling in love, like having a child."

This is the man behind the scheme, Ni Zhaoxing Credit: ITV News/Simon Harris

Historic Crystal Palace set to be brought back to life

London's historic Crystal Palace looks set to be brought back to life under new plans to rebuild it as a modern-day cultural attraction. A Chinese investment firm wants to reconstruct it on the site of the original Victorian building in south-east London.

Artist's impression of how a regenerated Crystal Palace Park would look Credit: ITV News/Simon Harris
Perspex model of proposed new building in south-east London Credit: ITV News/Simon Harri

Mayor to announce plans for Crystal Palace Park

London Mayor Boris Johnson is set to announce new plans to regenerate Crystal Palace Park later on today.

Although specific details of the plans have not yet been released, the proposals include "major inward investment" to restore parts of the park to their former historical state.

The park, located in Bromley, is well-known for its Victorian dinosaur models, designed by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins.

Earlier this year, a Chinese developer reportedly put forward proposals to rebuild a historic palace which originally stood in the park but was destroyed by fire in 1936.

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