November 30: up in flames

2012/11/30 § Leave a comment

On this day in 1936 the Crystal Palace burned down.

The famous iron and glass building had been re-erected following the famous Exposition of 1851 in Sydenham.  During the night a small fire began in a cloakroom.  Although the industrially produced materials that made the building famous would not burn, the wooden flooring and loads of displays and furnishings could, and did.  Fire swept through the building in a matter of hours, the heat (and efforts to save the building) breaking windows along its great length.  Iron elements became over-heated and shattered when cooled by water.  The building was a total and complete loss.  Among the tens of thousands who came to watch, Winston Churchill stood among the crowd, later pronouncing that the blaze marked “the end of an age.”

Image: the fire (from this source)

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You are currently reading November 30: up in flames at Clio’s Calendar: Daily Musings on Architectural History.

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