* Since the story below was published, Hackney council planning sub-committee met, on Wednesday 6 March 2014, to debate the demolish-rebuild motion. The councillors voted 4-4. Chairman Vincent Stops used his casting vote to approve the proposal.
HACKNEY’S GREAT chronicler of the offbeat has added to the council’s shame over its neglect of the Dalston Lane terrace.
Iain Sinclair had been asked by BBC Radio 4 to review Ruin Lust, an exhibition at Tate Britain that opened today 4 March 2014. He could not resist drawing parallels with Hackney’s costly – aesthetically and financially – mismanagement of the buildings at 48-76 Dalston Lane E8 3AH.
Discussing an item in the exhibition, the Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire author said: “That [map] was an interesting piece. It sits very nicely with Leon Kossoff’s great painting from Dalston Lane, an old house being demolished, from the 1970s, which really isn’t about ruins, but it’s such a fabulously rich painting it seems to me prophetic.
“I mean Dalston Lane at this very moment is going through this terrible process of demolition, Georgian terraces are coming down in vandalism.”
Hackney council wants the buildings demolished and their facades rebuilt, despite long-standing opposition from the Hackney Society and conservation area advisory committees in Dalston, Clapton and Stoke Newington.
The strongest, and longest opposition, has come from Open Dalston, which was set up set up ten years ago to preserve the terrace.
David Altheer 040314
* The Kossoff above depicts the former undertaker premises, now flats, in Dalston Lane near the railway bridge – the rail cutting is visible at right. The drawing, shown at the Annely Juda gallery in London, last year, is not showing at the Tate.
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* Ruin Lust, Tate Britain, opened today Tues 4 March 2014-18 May 2014; adults £10, concessions £8.60. Offering a guide to the uses of ruins in art from the 17th century to the present times, it includes more than 100 works by JMW Turner, John Constable, Rachel Whiteread and others. Good disabled facilities