Sticking with some kind of working girl vibe, my latest WAH nails take their cue from the old Express Building at 120 Fleet Street. It goes without saying that the Express is an utterly abhorrent paper, but this 1930s building is an art deco masterpiece, in a city where art deco architecture is sadly lacking (although not if you read this blog).
I only discovered the Express Building last year during Open House London, but ah, what a discovery it was. I can’t talk about architecture eloquently, so you should read this excellent blog about 120 Fleet Street instead. As the post mentions, the building appears in Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop, as the Megalopolitan Building:
The bells of St. Bride’s chimed unheard in the customary afternoon din of the Megalopolitan Building. The country edition had gone to bed; below traffic-level, in grotto-blue light, leagues of paper ran noisily through the machines; overhead, where floor upon floor rose from the dusk of the streets to the clear air of day, ground-glass doors opened and shut; figures in frayed and perished braces popped in and out; on a hundred lines reporters talked at cross purposes; sub-editors busied themselves with their humdrum task of reducing to blank nonsense the sheaves of misinformation which whistling urchins piled before them; beside a hundred typewriters soggy biscuits lay in a hundred tepid saucers. At the hub and still centre of all this animation, Lord Copper sat alone in splendid tranquility. His massive head, empty of thought, rested in sculptural fashion upon his left fist. He began to draw a little cow on his writing pad.
No offence to my subbing pals, eh? Definitely worth a nose when you’re in the area – it’s a truly remarkable building and you’d have no idea how amazing the interior was from the outside.
Nails from WAH, as ever – ask for Sophie, she’s the best.