General Post Office, London


General Post Office
Postmarked 1908

Google Street View (approximate)

Originally known as the General Letter Office, the headquarters for the General Post Office (GPO) was built on the eastern side of St. Martin’s Le Grand in the City of London between 1825 and 1829, to designs by Robert Smirke. . . . It was built in the Grecian style with Ionic porticoes, and was 400 feet (120 m) long and 80 feet (24 m) deep. The building’s main facade had a central hexastyle Greek Ionic portico with pediment, and two tetrastyle porticoes without pediments at each end. The main interior was the large letter-carriers’ room, with its elegant iron gallery and spiral staircase.

While externally attractive, however, the building suffered from internal shortcomings. Poor layout meant that work requiring bright light was conducted in poorly illuminated areas; odours spread from the lavatories to the kitchens, while the combination of gas lighting and poor ventilation meant that workers often felt nauseous. The expansion of the work of the Post Office also meant that by the later 19th century it was occupied well beyond its intended capacity; The Times reported in 1860 that “rooms have been overcrowded, closets turned into offices, extra rooms hung by tie rods to the girders of the ceiling”. . . The original Smirke building was closed in 1910 and demolished in 1912.
Wikipedia

The story goes back to the era before Rowland Hill’s Penny Post and had its opening chapter during the glory days of the mail coach. The Post Office had been established in the City since the mid-17th century but it was in 1829 that the Post Office moved from cramped premises in Lombard St to a new home in an imposing neoclassical building nearer St Paul’s. Situated on the east side of St Martin’s-Le-Grand it was Grand by address, grand in design and become known fondly as ‘The Grand’ by its occupants. The new building housed the Postmaster General, The Secretary and his administrative staff together with the main sorting offices for mail for London, the provinces and overseas. The building, designed by Robert Smirke, was the best known public face of the Post Office in London throughout the Victorian period. After much internal alteration to cope with the enormous growth in business, it was eventually – and controversially – demolished in 1912-13.
The Postal Museum

Theatre Royal, Nottingham


Theatre Royal, Nottingham
c.1910

Google Street View.

Brimming with history, the Theatre Royal is not only a city centre landmark but also one of the most beautiful Victorian theatres in Britain. Built in 1865 and later transformed in 1897 by renowned architect Frank Matcham, the theatre is considered to be one of the most spectacular surviving examples of Matcham’s work.
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall

While Market Street was emerging from the rubble of Sheep Lane, the Theatre Royal sprang up in just six months using a neoclassical design from a fresh new architect. It was the second English theatre design of upcoming architect Charles J Phipps, who went on to become Britain’s first great theatrical architect with an impressive list of theatres across the country to his name. Phipps’ resplendent design had a classical theme closely modelled on the Salle Favart theatre in Paris, featuring six Corinthian pillars in Ancaster stone soaring over the entranceway, supporting a large attic with ornamental vases. This new, dignified, white building rose from the murky industrial skyline just like a classical temple, exactly as ordered.

Within the temple, the class system of 1860s Victorian England was at work, with five brass handled doors beneath the grand colonnade reflecting the status quo. There were stairs to the upper circle and two doors on the left for the middle classes; another two doors for the wealthy with ‘large dress ready’ marble staircases to the dress circle and private boxes in well-served opulence; the final door leading down to the gentleman’s cloak room. Everyone else, you ask? Nottingham’s working classes entered via doors at the side of the theatre to access the pit (stalls) – standing room only. In all, it had a 2,200 capacity, nearly twice its modern, all-seater capacity. Once inside, a sumptuously painted cylindrical interior featured bright frescoes over crimson velvet seats, and was illuminated by an enormous, 170-jet gas flame chandelier. Along with gas-fired ‘lime light’ stage lights and yet more gas jets on the stage. Fire safety wasn’t what it is today.
LeftLion

London Bridge, London


London Bridge after the 1904 widening. Copyright G. D & D. L.
c.1910
Publisher: Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis, 1909-1915
(Image is crooked on card)

Bridge built 1831, widened 1902, removed 1968

Approximate location, Google Street View.
Tower on the right is St Magus the Martyr and the white building with columns just to the left of the bridge is Fishmongers’ Hall

Wikipedia
London Bridge Museum & Educational Trust (might have to increase zoom on browser to make page bigger)


London Bridge
c.1910