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Progress on Crystal Palace Park

by Marco Cillario Fri 23 September 2016, 9:37 am

The multimillion pound project to revamp Crystal Palace Park saw two major pieces of progress this summer, as the Grade-II listed sphinxes (below) were repainted and plans for a new skate park were approved.

Bromley Council, the Mayor of London and Historic England are investing £2.4 million to improve the 81-ha, Grade II-listed park, which was once home to Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace, the structure that housed the Great Exhibition in 1851 and was destroyed by fire in 1936.

The six sphinxes, originally produced as part of the terraces hosting Crystal Palace when it moved to Sydenham from Hyde Park in 1852, were repainted terracotta red, after research which the council undertook in partnership with the Crystal Palace Museum revealed this was their colour until the 1900s.

“The sphinxes were once ‘gatekeepers’ to the Crystal Palace, and they remain a much-loved feature of the park today,” said Historic England’s planning director Nigel Barker. “The terracotta red finish will reinstate their original mid-19th century colouring and help visitors to better appreciate their story and importance.”

On 8 September Bromley Council’s planning sub-committee approved proposals to build a skate park. The facility will include space for BMX and push scooters.

Future phases of the park renovation will include providing a new cafe, conserving some of the Grade I-listed dinosaurs and the south terrace steps, as well as landscaping and removing some disused structures.

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