Went on a great new Open City walking tour led by photographer Grant Smith this afternoon. Here are some of the results..
Elizabeth Frink’s Paternoster surveys a square composed entirely of riot barriers. In an effort to keep Paternoster Square both open and closed a maze of metal barriers has been set up so that pedestrians can walk but not have the space to pitch a tent. A particularly warped logician must have dreamed up this pattern.
The contrasting life of the City of London illustrated by the recent opening of Rem Koolhas’ headquarters for the Rothschild Bank and the open-air seminar taking place today on the steps of St Paul’s. Interesting to see how empty some public spaces have become. The centre of the City of London used to be the place that people left at weekends and evenings, now life has returned perhaps for the first time since before the bookshops by St Paul’s were destroyed in the blitz.
Paternoster Square has the appearance of a ghost town. The apparently public square with its monument to the booksellers whose shops perished in the Fire of London, revealed its true colours when it served injunctions on Occupy London. The protesters moved next door to the precincts of St Paul’s and we now see what a guarded public space looks like; sad, empty, without humanity. The contrast with the energy, endeavour and creativity moments away could not be more striking.