By Mark McConville
STUNNING RETRO photographs have revealed construction works creating the new underground headquarters in 1928, which became London’s tallest building at that time.
The incredible images, as revealed by the website Retronaut, show ‘human flies’ on the giant crane on the site of the new skyscraper in St James’ Park, high above the Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament.
Other striking shots show ‘ironfighters’ at work on the new skyscraper high above the capital and the skeleton of the great underground building which reared its head into the clouds at Westminster.
The remarkable pictures show workmen busy high above London on the construction of the new underground headquarters at St James’ Park, which, when completed was the tallest building in London.
These apparently nerveless human flies who crawl about unsteady beams and girders at giddy heights called themselves ‘Ironfighters’.
55 Broadway is a Grade I listed building overlooking St. James’s Park in London. It was designed by Charles Holden and built between 1927 and 1929; in 1931 the building earned him the RIBA London Architecture Medal.
It was constructed as a new headquarters for the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL), the main forerunner of London Underground. Upon completion, it was the tallest office block in the city.
London Underground was due to vacate the building in 2015 for new headquarters in the Olympic Park, Stratford, London, and 55 Broadway was to be converted for residential use, but this planning permission expires in 2018, TfL still occupy the building and no transfer of ownership has been announced.