Aug 04

VANISHING LONDON 3: The Parker-Knoll School Of Economics

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3: The Parker-Knoll School Of Economics

Okay, that is not the real name of this spurious seat of learning, but might as well me. I have lived near and travel by this undemanding prefab building on the Caledonian Road for about seven years. And all of a sudden, it was not there any more. It has been replaced by the magicians curtain of scaffolding to return, I assume, in some short space of time as flats.

So why even miss it. Partially because I never noticed it all that much. It was a metal fronted building, a few fiddly railings on an otherwise drab exterior. But it did profess to be some sort of higher education establishment, a claim which in my work in higher education I knew to be patently untrue. Maybe it was one of those American Universities in London, you know the ones that got hounded out by the Ivy League and hopes no-one notices that no-one ratifies their degrees. Flights of fantasy, ranging from one second to probably about eight, wondered what was actually going on behind those doors. Possibly an immigration scam, or money laundering (education institutions are great places for money laundering). But it sat snugly between the Caledonian Road tube station and the American Car Wash, and just FIT. I did not need to notice it. London is too big to notice everything after all, until there is an absence.

But this is the point of the constant overhaul of London. Buildings go down, buildings come up. Quite often the buildings going down are dull, crap and the only mysteries they possess is in their exact purpose. Perhaps the appearance of flats will disappoint me – where will be the mystery then. But they might look better. After all they’ve just put in that huge incinerator opposite which is a commanding building. Bye Bye Parker-Knoll School of Economics. Hello the future.


  1. 1
    Pete Baran on 28 Jul 2006 #

    The future being a halls of residence for the University of North london (owned by UNITE) and some mid-range flats. Over the road things are even mor enuts with about five hundred shared ownership and keyworker slums/flats next to the recycling plant / incinerator.

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