Whilst measuring doorcases around Bloomsbury for our annual Orders exercise, the AA Building Conservation Course were shocked and dismayed to discover that the well-known, often-photographed GII* listed doorcase at 6 Great Ormond Street is in fact a modern fibreglass replica!!
The image on the left shows the door as it is today, on the right in as it appeared in 1975 in Dan Cruickshank’s London; The Art of Georgian Building. The listing description of 1951 describes it as having a …wooden doorcase with fluted Ionic half columns carrying entablature with mutule pediment…
The course undertook research and launched an appeal for information on this heritage crime, and received a number of responses indicating the theft of the doorcase during a period of dereliction in the 1980s. This also stimulated a debate on the potential of establishing a wider surveying exercise, the results of which could be held at the National Monuments Record to document ‘at risk’ heritage and provide much-needed information for elements that may be lost or destroyed.