• Bricks & Words #4: ‘The Property Boom’

    How London and other British cities were built up (literally) after the war by a new breed of smart, canny speculators and developers is the subject of this brilliant book, the subject of this month's Bricks & Words. Towers, shopping centres, offices are all covered, in the capital and elsewhere, with key chapters on the late Harry Hyams (mastermind of Centre Point), Joe Levy and more. If you care remotely about why London looks the way it does today, read on…

    This is the inside story of the post-war commercial property market in Britain but with a firm focus on London. It covers all the major deals, including the Hilton on Park Lane, the Euston Centre and Elephant & Castle, as well as the Bull Ring in Birmingham. Exactly how the developers found the road to riches is explained in detail, as is the secrecy under which the prevailing legislation allowed them to operate. The 1989 reprint adds a retrospective commentary by Marriott, a former journalist and now board member of investment company Shaftesbury. As forensic as a lawyer’s brief, as gripping as a thriller, it’s indispensable.

    ‘The Property Boom’ by Oliver Marriott (H. Hamilton, 1967; reprinted with new introduction, 1989)


Chris Rogers writer on architecture and visual culture

Click blog images to expand; pre-Sept 2011 posts here


Chris is one of more than a dozen specialists whose essays fill this fresh examination of the charms of Paris, which is edited by John Flower. Looking at the French capital's history, culture and districts, each item can be read in just half a minute and is beautifully illustrated with its own collage-style spread.

The Ivy Press, 2018

Hardback, 160 pages | ISBN 9781782405443


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