How Dalston lost one of the few remaining Georgian commercial terraces in Hackney

Poignant memorial placed opposite desolation row © David Altheer
Poignant memorial placed opposite Desolation Row by heritage campaigners
Inside Murphy’s redevelopment for Hackney council of Georgian terrace rear in Dalston Lane Hackney E8 2016 © DavidAltheer [at]
Southern, rear side of Murphy-Hackney council Dalston Lane development
Dalston Ln Lon E8 demolition continues 200115 ©
Crumbling: Hackney heritage

* Update: Demolition started in 2015 soon after this story was published. Slowly, the framework and structure of the supposedly repro building emerged from the rubble. In 2016 the borough mayor resigned 

THE STRUGGLE to save the Georgian terrace of shops in Dalston has ended.

Soon after the last of many court actions by local campaigners failed, demolition resumed with new vigour.

Murphy, the building firm to which the terrace’s owner, Hackney council, last year gave stewardship of the buildings, is now legally able to demolish the rear and give the facades the postmodern makeover favoured by the council.

DalstonLnSign14b: Hackney Ccl plan for Dalston Lane Jan 2014 ©
Above: heritage, Hackney-style, and top, memorial opposite the council version of Desolation Row

Open Dalston founder Bill Parry-Davies, who has fought tirelessly for more than a decade to save the buildings, on the group’s blog described the court refusal to allow a last-minute protest as “a sad day for Dalston”.

Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe ©
An “eyesore”, then-Hackney Mayor Pipe is said to have quipped

In return Murphy will be able to collect rent on offices and flats in the terrace.

Once it has completed the first phase of its its disneyfication, the same treatment will will be meted out to the rest of the buildings in the terrace, which date back to the early 1800s.

Council mismanagement of the terrace had cost local people millions and had lost the opportunity to provide flats at affordable rather than extortionate rents.

Parry-Davies added: “Our future generations are about to lose heritage assets, in which they could have taken pride once restored. The loss will be irreversible.”

Hackney council had not kept its promise that the houses would be restored.

David Altheer 200115

Dalston Lane demolition Hackney London E8 2PB 230115 ©
Knockdown sale, Hackney council-style

Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe, who is said to have termed the terrace an “eyesore”, resigned this autumn to be succeeded by Philip Glanville 

* Backstory: Council gung-ho for demolition; Demolish Dalston Lane, says Hackney; New hope for Dalston Lane terraceHackney to succeed where Nazi bombing failed 

* All pictures on this page © DavidAltheer [at], and all for sale for reproduction. Most photographs are available in bigger formats

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers is not maintained.

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