A bit of reflection on South Ken and Exhibition Road

A few years back, Exhibition Road and South Ken were drab and poorly designed, for pedestrians, for disabled people, and for vehicles.

And this despite the fact that they are the gateway to a dozen or more nationally important institutions attracting many millions of visitors each year.

Although we are just the local council, we felt we had an obligation to the country as a whole to do something about the uninspiring setting for so many of our national treasures.

And so we brought forward radical plans and implemented them, splitting the cost of doing so with the Mayor of London who backed us all the way.

The scheme that emerged scooped a mantelpiece of design awards and deservedly so.  But as is the way of things, all of those awards, all of that investment and all of the skill that went into the actual work are now slipping from public memory.

Happily though, the streetscape remains, and strolling around there the other day, I couldn’t help thinking how right we were to press on with it.

It was impressive.  It was lovely.  And it was lively too, with a distinctly continental flavour I felt, perhaps on account of all the Raybans and espressos.

Anyway, here are some pictures; judge for yourselves.

Exhibition Road is not just home to many of London’s major museums but is also one of London’s liveliest quarters.