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Jones'alterations to gallery are shocking

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Astragal's congratulations to Edward Jones et al (AJ 24.5.01), concerning the outrage they have expressed at the proposed alterations to the Turkish baths at the RAC Club reminded me of the old maxim that 'he who lives in a glass house should not throw stones'.

I called at the National Portrait Gallery recently to have a look at the recent alterations. It was deeply shocking to discover that the sensitively restored entrance of 1990 had been swept away (Ed Jones, Arch).

Roddy Gradidge's work was good enough to stand in its own right without distracting from Mr Jones' recent contribution.

The decision to put his firm's stamp on the building right up to the front entrance was an uncharitable and philistine act.

He has produced a predictable 'commercial' solution totally lacking in presence. New lamps for old?

Incidentally, the mahogany revolving doors and associated fine joinery was one of the last jobs carried out by the splendid firm of TB Colman & Sons before its demise in the slump of the early '90s. Was all of this high-class work consigned to the skip? I wonder what the Xaviers and Jocastas at English Heritage thought about that?

Alan Beardmore, Reading

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