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Skylons Second Chance

Skylon, one of London's legendary demolished monuments could get a second birth thanks to an anonymous donor who has given 1.2 million to help pay for its construction.

The structure was originally erected as part of the 1951 Festival Of Britain and featured a needle held in mid-air by suspension cables. Reaching 91 metres tall, it would be illuminated every night giving the Festival a visible landmark from all around bomb damaged London.

If built today it would be Britain's tallest sculpture comfortably surpassing Make Architects planned 60 metre tall Aspire in Nottingham.

Skylon didn't last long though - once the Festival was over there was a new Conservative government in power who saw it as a symbolism of socialism and had it demolished by simply cutting the cables that suspended it, leaving it to fall into the River Thames like a toppled tree where it still lays today.

There have been numerous plans to re-erect it, the latest in 2004 was drawn up by Ian Ritchie Architects which would see it stand in its original spot next to the London Eye but however it failed to progess thanks to the 800,000 needed at the time.

This time around supporters are looking at other sites, perhaps mindful of the attempts by Westminster Council to guard views from St James Park from the intrusions of tall buildings. This would however lose the cumulative effect of it next to the London Eye, something it would clearly compliment.

Whether the plans go anywhere this time remains to be seen, but the money put up by the mysterious benefactor shows Skylon is gone but not forgotten.
Skylon, London
Skylon, London