Urban landscape — 29 August 2017
Green hut v green bridge

After spending £37 million of public money without a single shrub being planted, the Garden Bridge Trust has called it a day.

They had hoped to construct a private bridge from Temple Place to the South Bank, which would ease the burden on the two footbridges 100 yards away.

Much criticism has been levelled at historic sight lines giving distant views of St. Paul’s being ruined.

The Garden Bridge was hoping to address this by obscuring the public’s view from Waterloo Bridge of London’s greatest edifice and replace it a chance to see Wren’s masterpiece through foliage at times when the Garden Bridge wasn’t given over to corporate events.

Little mention was made of what was to become of the Cabbies’ Shelter inconveniently positioned on the northern approach, just where the Garden Bridge’s security guards would have had their picturesque hut.

This little wooden cabbies’ shelter had fought off rich and powerful adversaries before.

In the 1960s developers knocked down four ancient streets running down to Temple Place to allow for a hotel to be built presumably so American tourists could see just the sort of roads they had destroyed. When the hotel reached completion the architects were amazed to find that just at the spot they’d planned to put their grand hotel entrance there was a Cabbie’s Green Shelter.

With typical corporate stupidity, they tried to use their financial might to have the shelter removed by the authorities, but they were told that the shelter had been there since 1880 and was staying put.

With the image of their rich American visitors being greeted by a ramshackle old shelter they were forced to beg for its removal. For a price, the shelter was duly moved a few yards down the hill away from the hotel’s lobby.

The green shelter is still there, but the hotel has since closed. Now apartments, with the imaginatively named moniker Arundel Great Court incorporating another ubiquitous new hotel are being constructed, who no doubt, after losing their private pathway to the South Bank, will attempt to remove the Green Shelter eyesore.

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