Once behemoths of the skyline, the dismantling Bethnal Green gas holders has begun.
The gasometers were constructed in the mid to late-19th century to contain the gas that was produced by the Shoreditch Gas Works; the smaller one was built in 1866 and the larger in 1889. Though both have been decommissioned since the late 1990s, they have become a familiar part of the area’s skyline.
The National Grid, which owns the gas holders (as well as around 500 others nationwide), took part in a joint venture with developers, Berkeley Group, to redevelop the land on which the structures stand. The project, titled St William, is aiming to redevelop 76 of them, including those in Bethnal Green.
While there were efforts to save the gas holders and petitions to preserve them, in autumn 2020, there fate was sealed when seven out of eight members of Tower Hamlets Council’s Strategic Development Committee gave the plans the green light.
As The Gentle Author states: ‘We hope that the developer recognises the virtue in retaining these magnificent towers and integrating them into their scheme, adding value and distinction to their architecture, and drama and delight to the landscape.’
We couldn’t agree more.