diamond geezer

 Thursday, August 17, 2017

Open House is returning to London in a month's time, specifically Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September. It's also the project's 25th year! Only 20 buildings took part back in 1992, but this year there are more than 800. What's more, this is the first year all 33 London boroughs are taking part. Harrow has stopped going its own way, Bromley and Bexley have chipped in, and even Kingston has finally stopped pretending it's still in Surrey and is joining for the very first time.

Obviously if you're interested you should get hold of the official printed Guide (now £7 plus p&p, I remember when you could pick up a free copy at your local library, etc etc). There's also an app, which I understand is free, and arrives on your favourite electromagnetic store today. Today's also the day the website goes live, glitches permitting, so you can try to search through the mountain of stuff and see what there is to visit this year. I've searched the print version, and here's a selection of good stuff which requires prompt action in advance.

n.b. 8am: Links may be incorrect or blank because booking's not supposed to be live yet
n.b. I'll try to add some more links and information after the website updates (which is usually 10am-ish)
n.b. Some of the stuff appears to have 'sold out' already, because booking went live before today (grumble grumble)

n.b. 3pm: The website is now starting to go live, but so far only the homepage and none of the events
n.b. 4pm: The website now appears to be live, but is struggling and keeps falling over
n.b. I'd quite like to meet the designer who gave the website non-scrollable dropdown menus and shout at them, very loudly

n.b. Fewer venues seem to require pre-booking this year, which is good
n.b. Here's Ian Visits' list of bookable choices
n.b. Don't be greedy now...


28 Open House treats to be pre-booked online

Tall stuff
• Tower 42 (Sat 10.00-17.00) [sold out yesterday]
• One Blackfriars (Sat/Sun 10.00-17.00) [sold out yesterday]
• South Bank Tower (Sat 10.00-16.00) [sold out yesterday]
• The Leadenhall Building (Sat 10.00-16.00) [open]
• St Paul's Cathedral - Triforium Tour (Sat 11.00-18.00) [sold out]

Station stuff
• St Pancras Chambers and Clock Tower (Sat/Sun 10.00-16.00) [sold out]
• 55 Broadway (London Underground HQ) (Sat/Sun 11.30-15.30) [sold out]
• Tottenham Court Road Station (Sat/Sun 11.00-15.00) [sold out]
• Piccadilly Circus Station (Sat/Sun 11.00-15.30) [sold out]
• Jubilee Line Night Tour (Fri 23:59) [sold out]

Old stuff
• The Queen's Chapel, St James' Palace (Sat 10.00-14.00, Sun 10.00-17.00) [open]
• Lambeth Palace (Sat 09.00-14.00) [sold out]
• Royal Automobile Club (Sat/Sun 10.00, 11.30, 15.00) [open]
• Islington Town Hall (Sun 12.00, 14.00) [sold out yesterday]
• Fishmongers Hall (Sat/Sun 10.30, 12.00) [sold out]
• Lancaster House (Sat/Sun 09.30-15.30) [open]

Cultural stuff
• Alexandra Palace (basement) (Sat 10.00-16.00) [open]
• The Old Vic (Sat 09.00, 10.45) [sold out]
• Government Art Collection (Sat 10.00-16.00) [open]
• The National Archives (Sat 10.00-17.00) [sold out]
• Lakeside Centre, Thamesmead (Sat/Sun 14.00) [open]

Utility stuff
• Abbey Mills Pumping Station (Sat/Sun 10.00-17.00) [sold out]
• Oak Room, New River Head (Sat/Sun 10.00-17.00) [open]

Housing stuff
• Central Hill Estate (Sun 11.00-18.00) [sold out yesterday]
• Dawsons Heights (Sat 10.00-16.00) [open]
• Cranbrook Estate (Sun 12.00-17.00) [open]

Other stuff
• The Francis Crick Institute (Sat 11.00-15.00) [sold out]
• New Scotland Yard (Sat/Sun 11.00-16.30) [sold out]

6 Open House treats to be pre-booked by email

• One Canada Square (Sat 10.00-16.00) [open]
• Silvertown (inc Millennium Mills) (Sat 10.30, 12.30) [open]
• Underground Bunker, Neasden (Sat 08.30-17.30) [open]
• Deephams Sewage Treatment Works (Sat 10.00-16.00) [open]
• Battle of Britain Bunker & Visitor Centre (Sat/Sun 10.00-17.00) [open]
• The Building of a New Town: An Architecture Tour of Thamesmead (Sat 11.00) [open]

5 Open House treats to be pre-booked by telephone

• Yeoman Warders Club, Tower of London [open]
• Phoenix Cinema, Finchley [open]
• Wrotham Park, Barnet [open]
• Fuller's Griffin Brewery [open]
• 155 Holland Park Avenue [open]

3 Open House specials with tickets available by ballot

• 10 Downing Street (expect MI5 to check you out if you win this one) [open]
• BT Tower (includes access to the iconic revolving floor) [open]
• The View from The Shard (OK, it's not so special this one, just a great way to get up top for nothing) [open]


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