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Conserving Heritage Tiles on the London Underground: Challenges and Approaches

Fulcher, KE; (2013) Conserving Heritage Tiles on the London Underground: Challenges and Approaches. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology , 22 48 - 60. 10.5334/pia.402. Green open access

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Abstract

The London Underground is the oldest Underground railway in the world. Some of its stations are now over a century old, and many others have important historical associations. A great number of the early stations were tiled in distinctive schemes, leaving London Underground with an enormous amount of tiling heritage to care for in a transport network that has to continue offering a customer focussed service on a daily basis. This paper discusses the difficulties this presents to London Underground in its efforts to conserve its heritage tiling, and the approaches they have taken. Both London Underground’s and the heritage community’s attitudes to large scale architectural conservation have changed over time, so from an initial approach of retention of all viable original material, they have moved on to a more considered aim of holistic station conservation, focusing on the architect’s intent and the “feel” of a station. It is not only London Underground who have been involved in the work affecting heritage tiling, and the impact of other parties is also discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Conserving Heritage Tiles on the London Underground: Challenges and Approaches
Location: UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5334/pia.402
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/pia.402
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).
Keywords: Conservation, heritage, underground, tube, architecture, tiles
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1416843
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