A public appeal has been launched to raised more than £10,000 to enable the Crystal Palace Subway to be open on a near-permanent basis.
The subway was built 150 years ago to link to a railway station, now long-closed, which once served a modern wonder of the world: Paxton’s Crystal Palace.
This Victorian architectural marvel will be open over this weekend, as part of the Open House London annual event which provides access to places and buildings of particular architectural merit, or curiousity. But only those with pre-booked tickets will get access to the subways.
The subway runs under Crystal Palace Parade, close to the television transmitter.
The appeal organisers say: “The subway has a lively history from being built in 1865 as a subway from the high level station to the Crystal Palace to becoming an air raid shelter, a venue for ‘Subway Superdays’, illegal raves and filming for movies and TV.
“In recent decades health and safety has meant the subway is only open once a year for London Open House weekend. The demand for our pre-booked free tickets is always huge. This year just over 900 were ‘sold’ within three hours.
“We would love to open the subway more frequently for heritage and community activities and we are very very close to doing it.
“We have planning permission to reinstate safe pedestrian access on the Southwark side of the subway and we have all the relevant experts and paperwork in place. We have raised just over £19,000 from HOLT, Southwark CGS and local heritage and community groups.
“But we are just over £10,000 short of our target figure and we are looking to raise this as a matter of urgency in order for us to re-open in this anniversary year.”
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