Confessions of a Croydon building project gone wrong

The IYLO BUILDING, a “landmark development” for all the wrong reasons, has taken to Twitter to ease its angst. Here it explains what it’s like to be the centre of a roundabout and not the centre of attention

Listen up people! It’s me, the IYLO Building, and I’m sick of being ignored.

You don’t think buildings can speak or think? Why, you ignorant carbon-based life forms… You’re so impressed with your five senses and three dimensions that you can’t bear the fact that everything in the universe has some sort of consciousness.

And now that consciousness, through the magic of technology, has been given the freedom to express itself and I’m ready to kvetch! Why? Because of the craziness that is moi!

Look at me! I was supposed to be a thing of captivating elegance, a cascading waterfall of multi-tinted glass bringing grace and sophistication to people of Croydon and Addiscombe.

Some PR agency was paid thousands to come up with the phrase “Live in extraordinary beauty”. I bet they’re eating their shorts now because look at the state of me: I’m a dump!

Things were looking good for a long time; the IYLO Corp even sold some units. I was so proud when someone put the first “SOLD” sign up on one of my windows. I was getting excited, as all buildings do.

We’re built to serve and I was looking forward to housing young families and folks of all sorts. Okay, so I was a bit disturbed when I got tall enough to see that I was being built in the middle of a roundabout but I tried to overlook that . We structures forgive a lot; it is our natural disposition to accept what you humans give us.

But then I started to hear whisperings between the workers.  I saw a lot of frowns, people looking at each other in silence, tool boxes being slammed shut in anger.  Something wasn’t right.  Fewer and fewer people started showing up to build me.  I couldn’t believe it – just give up on me?  In the middle of a build?

I did this during art therapy. Can you feel my pain?

Sometimes you humans mystify the hell out of me.

Sadly, I don’t understand what you call “money” and all the systems you have built around it. I can’t comprehend all the ways and means of your complex society. But don’t tell me there isn’t something really weird about stopping in the middle of a build. So much time spent and resources consumed – and you just stop now, when I’m looking like this? That’s crazy.

The final straw came in the spring when they took the crane away that was on top of my head. I hit bottom then, I sobbed all night. St George’s Walk heard me and recommended a good shrink. He said that a lot of structures around Croydon are getting urgent psychological help. Not only structures but pieces of land, too. Poor old Mrs Ruskin Square and I had a good natter the other day (and I thought I was messed up). She said she’s been barren for almost a decade.

So what do I do now except get giddy by looking at the cars going around me and feel sorry for my neighbours? I’m also looking forward to the time when all the buddleia bushes around me start to blossom. Anyone wanna buy one? I’ll sell ’em to you cheap.

  • Follow the IYLO Building’s observations on Twitter: @IYLOBldg
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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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4 Responses to Confessions of a Croydon building project gone wrong

  1. Oh dear! Poor Mrs Ruskin Square is in denial. She has been barren for more than a decade. It’s over half a century since that popular coal man Mr Charrington left in the mid-1950s.

    • Of course, you’re right, David.

      But Mrs R-S is a bit of a delicate soul, and she doesn’t like to be reminded of her age. Which is why she refers to herself by the name of her most recent marriage, and tries not to recall all those other, unconsummated liaisons in the past.

  2. derekthrower says:

    As estate agents used to say in the middle years of the last decade with the London Overground reaching West Croydon and the the 2012 Olympics on the horizon, “property can only go up in Croydon”.

    Unfortunately they did not confirm it would ever be completed.

  3. Eureka! We can find caring and considerate partners for Mrs R-S, Mr IYLO and Ms Park-Place too. The answer is simple. We charge business rates and/or council tax as if the properties were occupied, based on the number of units for which developers have planning permission.

    It would concentrate minds wonderfully; induce deals at affordable prices; get owners, co-owners and/or tenants into town centre homes PDQ.

    I know it’s not legal at the moment. That’s a job for Mike Fisher; have a quiet word with his friend Boris; ask him to talk to Call Me Dave. Job done!

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