Brixton Windrush Square opens
An updated public space for Brixton
(Saturday 27th Feb 2010, photos by urban75)
Used for sheep pasture until the end of the 19th Century, the space in front of Brixton Tate library was purchased by Sir Henry Tate's widow and donated to the public in 1905 (eight years after the library was built).
Originally known as the Brixton Oval, and then Tate Gardens, its new name of Windrush Square was decided upon after local residents, businesses and organisations were given a small selection to choose from. There was no option to keep its current name.
Years ago, the space once housed attractive enclosed gardens, with ornate wrought iron gates guarding the entrance.
Various 'landscaping' schemes over the past twenty years have seen the gardens and lawns swept away to be replaced by a barren, windswept open space, designed to discourage drug dealers, ne'er do wells and anyone contemplating tarrying away an alcoholic afternoon in the public space.
According to Lambeth, the project, "aims to create a safe, high-quality public space reflecting our unique and diverse community."
We're not entirely sure how such a bleak, featureless expanse of concrete and stone reflects much of Brixton's character, but here's some photos from the opening.
A marquee was erected for the opening, and behind the marquee is a water feature which had to be turned off as it was blowing around everywhere.
IanW was at the site the day before when the Mayor of London came down for a visit:
"...the water feature/fountain thing is ridiculous. Basically it throws up a cloud of water mist which this morning made a big chunk of the square unusable, unless you were happy getting soaked. Sure it'll be fantastic in the summer, but less so on a dull February morning. There was a great comedy moment when Boris was walking across the square, with guys filming his Mayoral entrance, when they had to stop in their tracks as it became apparent that they were going to have to walk through the billowing mist from the fountain."
These chairs look casually placed, but they're screwed into the floor, limiting the amount of people who can comfortably sit together.
A band on the temporary stage entertains the kids.
By the marquee.
The kids loved the slab of granite, and we imagine some of the traditional square residents are going to enjoy relaxing on it too.
Some kind of electronic wizadry going on.
» Discuss Windrush Square on the bulletin boards
« Brixton features home Windrush Square 2010 views »