The People’s Panorama is an ambitious project to create a community heritage resource recording and documenting the six-kilometre stretch of road from Aldgate to Stratford in East London. The project will celebrate the High Street at this historic point in its development and act as a record of the route from central London to the 2012 Olympic Park.

Friday, 16 March 2012

More discoveries by the project volunteers

 'When I first visited Whitechapel High Street and discovered Black Lion House was in my section, I didn't think much of it. Then I started researching the building and I was very pleasantly surprised. 

Black Lion Yard, 1961. Photographer unknown
Black Lion House stands near the now demolished Black Lion Yard which used to be described as the ‘Hatton Garden of the East End’ due to its 18 jewellery shops. Black Lion Yard was a narrow passage that ran from Old Montague Street to Whitechapel Road. Before it became known for its jewellers it was known for its kosher dairy. Until 1902, The Jewish Soup Kitchen was based here and even had its own heard of cows. Despite petitions and media coverage Black Lion Yard was demolished in 1975.'
Niamh Linnane

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Reflections on Photography

Jon Spencer (see his website here) is the architectural photographer for the Panorama High Street 2012 project. He is taking photos of the elevations of every building along High Street 2012, and he is about half way through this extensive task. Here are his thoughts about the process so far...

'The work I've done so far on producing the People's Panorama has already proved of great interest.  Although I knew the streets that make up High Street 2012 as a visitor – the Whitechapel Gallery, the old Atlantis site by the Bell Foundry, the living bridge and so on, the time I've spent walking along the street for this project means I'm getting to know it in much fuller way. From my own experience and distant memories of lectures at architecture school, the occasional visitor often misrepresents the relationship & relative position of elements spread along a long thoroughfare, and I now feel like I've got a much better sense of the street, its rhythm and tempo.

The diversity of buildings is remarkable – in period, style, scale and function.  I might not have given much consideration to many of them in the past, but looking at each one individually means I'm getting to know them all a little and am seeing interesting or intriguing details & relationships that I would have missed before.

Looking at the parts of the panorama completed so far, I'm really struck by the way this wide range of buildings produces a fluctuating roofline to the final image … it seems almost like we're in a canyon, but here the line rises and falls dramatically to reveal glimpses of the city beyond the road, whether that's at the junction with side streets, or more tantalisingly, in the small gaps between buildings.

From a technical perspective, the sheer scale of this project means I've come across a number of issues in how to effectively describe these building fa├žades as a single panorama, when such a view doesn't really exist in reality. Relative position & height of neighbouring buildings, buildings that address the street at different angles, street clutter, distant towers and traffic. And then there's the weather … but I don't need to tell you about that, right?!'
Jon Spencer

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Rapit Suvanajata discovers...

'There are many memories and historical layers to all these buildings. At the end of Whitechapel Road, the last building number is 337 at present but the numbers used to run up to 345 in the past. Numbers 339-345 now is the outdoor space of the Blind Beggar pub (no.337)'