Whitechapel Bell Foundry (86)

In the Daily Telegraph this morning is my plea to Robert Jenrick to find a better solution to the problem of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry than simply allowing it to become a boutique hotel. I have always had the impression that Bippy Siegal, the developer, is actually keen on the history of the Bell Foundry. He is after all American and Americans are at least as mad at the destruction of the Bell Foundry as the British, as I discovered last night in talking to Philadelphians. So, I suggest Jenrick invites Siegal to his office and talks through the alternatives: to go down in history as the man who destroyed the Foundry; or its saviour. All he has to do is take his café out of the surviving working parts and use them once again as a fully working foundry and lease the space to Factum Arte. Or accept a matching offer for the historic parts of the building from Re-Form, with potential help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, which is still on the table. He can still build his hotel next door.



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