£1.2million restoration complete on much-loved Islington landmark
PUBLISHED: 15:02 11 November 2011
Scaffolding covering one of Islington’s best-loved landmarks is finally coming down after emergency repairs costing £1.2million – but engineers now have to get the clock ticking again.
The final poles and planks are due to be removed from the Union Chapel in Compton Avenue, Islington, tomorrow (Friday), following a two-year project to save the building.
Architects said the tower was at serious risk of collapse when works started in 2009, but its stonework has now been restored and made safe.
Anthony Richardson, 76, chairman of the Friends of Union Chapel, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful that it’s coming down. It’s a terrific Islington landmark and it will look wonderful again.
“The work had to be done very quickly because the gables were in danger of falling off. We had got to a point where the risk was too high, it could have fallen in the street and something had to be done.”
The chapel is now fundraising for the next phase of repairs, to the stonework at the bottom of the tower, which is set to cost £1.8million. Work is also planned on the organ, pews and interior stonework, while the tower’s clock needs mending after it was damaged during the restoration. It’s internal mechanism will be sent to a specialist workshop for repairs.
Assistant venue manager Becky Miller said: “It feels wonderful to have these major structural works completed, which we hope will make a positive contribution to this area of Islington, not only for visitors to the chapel, but for people simply passing by and those with a view onto the newly restored chapel tower.”
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