Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
The Eastcheap Gothic offices belong to the style developed in the late 1850s and
throughout the '60s. It is fantastic Victorian Gothic at its most assured, highly complex
and with a profusion of curiously intersecting planes, canopies, columns, and window-
openings. It is surface or street Gothic of a kind the Victorians hoped to develop, but they
lacked models, at least English models, for most street architecture of the Middle Ages has
disappeared. The nineteenth-century version illustrated here is highly competent, despite
its restless, geometric vitality. As can be seen, the high Victorian Gothic manner is fully
developed here, hardly a surface without ornament. The influence of Ruskin and Street
can be found in it, but its elements consist largely of motifs taken from French and Italian
Gothic, fused in the Sir Gilbert Scott manner to form the fully developed Victorian style
which can never be mistaken for any other. It is worth going to Eastcheap to see it, for
London, unlike Manchester, is not so well equipped with Gothic offices and the materi-
al (brick, coloured brick, stone, tile, and ironwork) is like the Lothbury office, the Gothic
word made flesh. It forms a piquant contrast to Wren's church of St Margaret Pattens and
the old-fashioned and delightful shop adjoining it.
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