London has a great collection of grand buildings, famous bridges and other urban objects that delight tourists and residents alike, but there’s quite a few impressive structures that haven’t made it to 2016. Here is a map of a London that you can’t see. The premise is simple – it shows some of London’s distinctive but sadly demolished buildings, arranged together in an approximately correct location relative to each other. From St Paul’s Cathedral before it burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666 and was reconstructed with a dome by Sir Christopher Wren, to the medieval London Bridge – the one that fell down – with buildings packed alongside the roadway on either side. There’s also the Crystal Palace – the 1851 Great Exhibition hall that was moved from Hyde Park to what is now known as Crystal Palace – before also burning down. There’s a pattern here.
We really like the detailed sketches that each of the lost buildings are afforded – it is very much an affectionate portrait of a familiar city made up entirely of buildings that we will never see in real life – this map will be as close as it gets. The artist hand-drew the graphic, with pen and ink. The cartographic touches reminiscent of old maps are particularly pleasing to the eye – such as the building names arranged in ribbons draped below each object, and the proper old-school compass. The simple black ink colour on the off-white paper has a very pleasing graphic quality.
The map comes with a little guide to each of the buildings – you can also see this in the last two photos on the website. The major structures that drawn in detail of the map are: Queen’s Hall, London Colosseum, Euston Arch, London Pantheon, Don Saltero’s Coffee House, Montagu House, Carlton House, Eleanor Cross, Essex House, Baynard’s Castle, Tavistock House, Rolls Chapel, Mrs Salmon’s Waxworks, The Talbot Inn, Vauxhall Gardens, The Crystal Palace, London Bridge, Bishopsgate, Old St Paul’s and Bedlam Hospital.
Mapping London is delighted to be affiliated to Great Little Place. We are looking forward to featuring a number of their lovely London map-based art prints here on Mapping London, in the months ahead.