Where’s the Gerkin?

Remember when Prince Charles changed the building height rules in London, and suddenly an enormous, often-despised, pickle-like structure dominated the London skyline?


Well, today, the Gerkin has been joined by a canned ham, a walkie-talkie, a cheese-grater, the Shard, and many other testaments to man’s desire to reach the heavens in glass structures that scrape the sky. In fact, the Gerkin is almost lost along the skyline. (You can see it peaking out behind the Cheese-Grater.)

London - 1

The Walkie-Talkie is currently visible from numerous angles:

These are glorious structures, and some have granted London new icon status, such as the London Eye.

London - 3

But I, for one, long for the old London, where Westminster and Big Ben dominated the skyline, and where London’s famous landmarks stood out as you walked or boated along the Thames.

London-Paris, St Lazare Southern Railway Travel Poster

All are still there, in their original glory, but you have to look among the forest of cranes to find some of them these days.

(Big Ben, below, is sheathed for reconstruction.)

It has ever been thus, I know. Time does not stand still. Nevertheless, I hate to see London lose its uniqueness amid the thrust of modernity and become just another city of massive, soulless, glass construction.

London, I love you. Please, stay charming!