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Square kilometre

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What a splendid place is the City of London. Or so Astragal and partner mused as we attended the Annual Livery Banquet of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects at Mansion House this week.

Lady Stewart presided admirably as master, while Wardens Michael West, Brian Waters and Alan Downing did all that was expected of them. One cannot help thinking about the great controversy surrounding Mansion House Square back in the 1980s, when the courageous Peter Palumbo tried to build his Mies tower, complete with urban square. It turns out that the City of London opposed the scheme (having first supported it) because burghers feared anarchists and other malcontents would use the square for demonstrations and worse. They may have been right, but it was a great shame to miss a Mies.

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