|Link to Evening Standard (second item)|
"There are three reasons to hope that the long-suffering folk living in the gritty Elephant & Castle catchment area will soon see progress on a long-promised multi-billion redevelopment - on paper at least.
"... ... Reason three: Shopping-centre owner St Modwen is sitting on a potential gold mine. The £1 billion developer bought the 240,000-square-foot mall on 3.5 acres of land for £30 million in 2004.
"The pink-painted centre earns £3 million a year in rent. That could double, once the 1960s structure is stripped to its concrete bones, and upped in size by 140,000 square feet."
No. it's not Brent Cross (or the Bull Ring Centre in Birmingham, of 1964), but the Elephant and Castle, in South London."The infamous shopping centre was opened in March 1965. It was the first covered shopping mall in Europe with 120 shops. In the sales brochure (1963), it claimed to be:“the largest and most ambitious shopping venture ever to be embarked upon in London. In design, planning, and vision, it represents an entirely new approach to retailing, setting standards for the sixties that will revolutionise shopping concepts throughout Britain."
(Whereas the Brent Cross shopping centre web site, bless it, is still telling porkies:
"Brent Cross was the first large enclosed shopping centre to be built in the UK. When it first opened in 1976, everyone was sure it wouldn't last!" [Brent Cross: The home of bad copywriters.]Brent Cross might have said "first out-of-town shopping centre", but it was always sold politically as being a London urban site. Barnet Council eventually called it a "regional shopping centre", the only known one in the UK, but that was always rather meaningless, in planning terms.)
15 Sept. 2011: The Guardian:
"From the archive, 15 September 1962: American-style shopping centres?"
(Originally published in the Guardian on 15 September 1962)
"US shopping centres should not be confused with the so-called shopping centres of Coventry and Birmingham, or with the one on which building has recently begun in London, at the Elephant and Castle. They are really examples of piece-meal urban redevelopment, whereas American shopping centres are planned suburban.
"The redevelopment of our urban centres is the most urgent of our problems. The private developer has his part to play but he must conform to an overall plan. ... The twilight residential areas between the town centre and the "posh" suburbs must not be abandoned but be given new life."
Link to The Guardian web site.