Plans for the restoration and construction of a new roof on the historic Crystal Palace Metro have been approved, with work scheduled to begin later this year.
The Grade II listed structure, opened in 1865, has fallen into disuse over the decades, finding itself on historic England’s ‘at risk’ register.
The multi-million pound restoration project, designed by curatorial architectural firm Thomas Ford and Partners in partnership with Bromley Council and Friends of Crystal Palace Subway, was unanimously approved by the plans subcommittee of the advice Thursday January 11.
Councilor Peter Morgan, Executive Councilor for Renewal, Recreation and Housing, said: “I look forward to seeing the start of work on this important restoration, and I thank our valued partners Historic England and Friends of Crystal Palace Subway who contributed to this good news. .
“The history of this important structure was reflected in the impressive design of the new metro roof, which will also be suitable for 21st century use.
“It is essential that we complete this work in a timely manner to preserve this cherished metro for years to come and ensure that it does not deteriorate further, as this restoration also contributes to the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park.”
Plans include the construction of a steel and glass roof with a 21-degree slope to cover the existing courtyard, which will be visible from Crystal Palace Parade.
The original roof fell into disuse until it was finally removed in the 1960s.
Rather than an exact replica of the original Victorian design, the new roof is intended as a contemporary re-imagination of it, based on consultation with Historic England.
It is hoped that the new roof will allow the site to be used for community gatherings, performances, craft or food markets, and private events.
The existing walls will also be replaced and new parapets will be built.
It is expected that restoration work will remove the metro from the risk register.
The estimated £ 3.2million cost of the Underground restoration follows the successful award of £ 2.3million grants from the City of London’s Strategic Investment Pot and 500 000 additional pounds from Historic England.
Friends of Crystal Palace Subway are also contributing £ 5,000.
Designed by Charles Barry Junior, the metro was built to connect the Crystal Palace High Level station to the famous Crystal Palace, none of which has survived today.
Passengers could walk directly from the station to the Crystal Palace through the ornate metro, until the palace was destroyed by fire in 1936.
It has occasionally been used as a cultural and community space over the decades, a function that the new plans could revive.
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