LONDON PLANS. - Report from the Select Committee on Metropolitan Communications; together with the proceedings ... minutes of evidence, and appendix.
London, House of Commons 1855. Foolscap folio contemporary half calf (base of the spine worn, some rubbing); xiv, 204pp, 36 plans and plates numbered to 34 with two bis (all but a couple folding, some quite large, several with added colouring), three unnumbered leaves of printed descriptions. A couple of plates with some misfolding, one with a closed tear, nothing serious. ¶ One of the most exciting gatherings of proposals for city improvement of the 19th century. London's population had doubled in forty years and faced with a clogged city the committee gathered schemes and proposals to alleviate the problem from about forty architects, engineers and busybodies. The proposals range from the prosaic to the fabulous and among those we might wish were built are Paxton's Great Victorian Way, a girdle around central London of atmospheric railways, shops and boulevard all under glass; Haddan's Westminster Railway Terminus, a thousand foot long iron and glass (by the look of it) station on a bridge over the Thames; similarly Baly's South Western Railway Station to be built on Charing Cross Bridge; Gisborne's elaborate rebuilding of the Thames embankment with railway, viaduct, stores, shops and dwellings, gardens,etc, with basins behind for docks; and, not least, Moseley's Crystal Way, with an atmospheric railway overlooked by dwellings and roads all under a glass-roofed, shop-lined pedestrian way. The committee were very fond of Paxton's plan and Charles Pearson's subterranean railway and street improvements but while some of the more prosaic schemes did reach fruition in some form probably the best that can said of immediate results of their work is that it added impetus to the partially approved but as yet unsettled Metropolitan Line - which finally opened as London's first underground in 1863.AUD 1750.00 [Appr.: EURO 1201.75 US$ 1315.18 | £UK 1024.75 | JP¥ 146450] Book number 9354
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