Kensington Gardens (next to Hyde Park)
In 1851 the Great Exhibition was held in Hyde Park, London, for which the so-called Crystal Palace was built. The exhibition was a great success and led Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, to propose that a permanent series of facilities be built in the area for the enlightenment of the public. Progress on the scheme was slow and in 1861 Prince Albert died, without having seen his ideas come to fruition. However, a memorial was proposed for Hyde Park, with a Great Hall opposite.
The Lungs of London
Trees and parks provide a range of benefits to the city. In addition to improving the look and feel of a neighbourhood, they offer a range of benefits such as attracting wildlife, providing shade, helping to improve local air quality and reducing flood risk. For example, according to the Woodland Trust, a tree-lined street can experience only 10-15 per cent of the dust of a street without trees, as well as being 6-10C cooler. Tree cover also plays an important role in adapting cities to prepare for predicted climate change.
Help Build a New Environmental Education Centre
The Royal Parks is raising funds to build a new Environmental Education Centre called the' Look Out'. There is just £660k of the £1.83m left to raise. You can help by dedicating a plaque at the sculpture Isis or by making a donation in whatever other way you choose to the Look Out Appeal. We would also like to hear from any businesses or charitable foundations interested in helping us with the project in any way. For more information please contact the Royal Parks Foundation or pick up a copy of their magazine.
Royal Albert Memorial
The centrepiece of the Memorial is a seated figure of Prince Albert which is once more covered in gold leaf. For eighty years the statue had been covered in black paint. English Heritage's research suggests that the black coating may have been a response to atmospheric pollution that had destroyed the original gold leaf surface.
Designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, the structure has always been something of an acquired taste. A critic of the day dubbed it 'organic nullity disguised beneath superficial exuberance.'
But Sir Gilbert - who was knighted for his design - felt that the memorial's statuary, decoration and iconography mattered as much as its structure. He once said that the embellishments form the memorial's 'real life and soul.'
As well as being green, eco cars need to look good...
Despite its extravagance, poor maintenance and design have plagued the memorial. For years, the roof leaked like a sieve. As the inner iron structure rusted, it expanded, causing crack upon crack.
A lesson in sustainability. electric cars are easy to maintain...
Around the canopy, below its cornice, is a dedicatory legend split into four parts, one for each side. The legend reads: Queen Victoria And Her People • To The Memory Of Albert Prince Consort • As A Tribute Of Their Gratitude • For A Life Devoted To The Public Good.
At the corners of the central area, and at the corners of the outer area, there are two allegorical sculpture programs: four groups depicting Victorian industrial arts and sciences (agriculture, commerce, engineering and manufacturing), and four more groups representing Europe, Asia, Africa and The Americas at the four corners, each continent-group including several ethnographic figures and a large animal. (A camel for Africa, a buffalo for the Americas, an elephant for Asia and a bull for Europe.)
Ideally, include vehicles from all four continents. The Europe and India groups are closest to where the cars will be parked. The Agriculture and Manufacturers groups are also situated on this side.
Royal Albert Hall
The hall, a Grade I listed building. The hall, a Grade I listed building, is an ellipse in plan, with major and minor axes of 83 m (272 feet) and 72 m (238 ft). The great glass and wrought-iron dome roofing the hall is 41 m (135 ft) high. It was originally designed with a capacity for 8,000 people and has accommodated as many as 9,000 (although modern safety restrictions mean that the maximum permitted capacity is now 5,544 including standing in the Gallery).
Around the outside of the hall is a great mosaic frieze, depicting "The Triumph of Arts and Sciences", in reference to the Hall's dedication. Proceeding anti-clockwise from the north side the sixteen subjects of the frieze are: (1) Various Countries of the World bringing in their Offerings to the Exhibition of 1851; (2) Music; (3) Sculpture; (4) Painting; (5) Princes, Art Patrons and Artists; (6) Workers in Stone; (7) Workers in Wood and Brick; (8) Architecture; (9) The Infancy of the Arts and Sciences; (10) Agriculture; (11) Horticulture and Land Surveying; (12) Astronomy and Navigation; (13) A Group of Philosophers, Sages and Students; (14) Engineering; (15) The Mechanical Powers; and (16) Pottery and Glassmaking.
Above the frieze is an inscription in one-foot high terracotta letters. This combines historical fact and Biblical quotations: "This hall was erected for the advancement of the arts and sciences and works of industry of all nations in fulfilment of the intention of Albert Prince Consort. The site was purchased with the proceeds of the Great Exhibition of the year MDCCCLI. The first stone of the Hall was laid by Her Majesty Queen Victoria on the twentieth day of May MDCCCLXVII and it was opened by Her Majesty the Twenty Ninth of March in the year MDCCCLXXI. Thine O Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty. For all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine. The wise and their works are in the hand of God. Glory be to God on high and on earth peace.
Capacity is now 5,544 including standing in the Gallery
Other motoring events in Hyde park
A nod to the world's longest running motoring event - the London to Brighton Veteran car Run, which starts in Hyde Park.
2002 - The first Supercar Run took place in 2002 between Hyde Park, London and the Hotel De Paris, Monaco.
[INSERT PHOTO: http://www.flickr.com/photos/toastbrot81/3769956324/in/set-72157606013338125/] Physical Energy Statue by George Frederic Watts
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