£10 – £12

The long after-life of Wren’s shortlived London plan of 1666

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Alan Baxter Ltd

75 Cowcross Street

London

EC1M 6EL

United Kingdom

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New perspectives on Sir Christopher Wren's ambitious but ill-fated plan to rebuild post-Fire London on a radically new model.

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Immediately after the 1666 Great Fire, Christopher Wren sought to persuade King Charles II to rebuild London according to the best principles of baroque urbanism, with wide straight streets, axial symmetry, monumental endpoints, and a waterfront with open quays.

The plan was quickly rejected as impracticable and Wren’s creative energy went into the design of St Paul’s Cathedral and more than fifty parish churches. But his scheme was memorialized by his son and grandson as a scandal of lost opportunity, a noble vision ‘unhappily defeated by faction’. Widely reproduced by printmakers, it gained iconic status, influencing street improvement in eighteenth-century London, nineteenth-century public health reform, late-Victorian advocacy of municipal autonomy, and twentieth-century planning controversies (including the Paternoster Square redevelopments of 1955 and 2000).

In this talk, Prof. Michael Hibbert considers how archival research disproving the received narrative of Wren’s plan opened the way for different understandings both of the planning legacy of reconstruction after the Great Fire, and of his own accomplishments as a Renaissance architect working within a mediaeval street plan.

Michael Hebbert is Emeritus Professor of Town Planning, The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. Tea and cake will be served.

Friends of the City Churches may book directly through the February issue of Skyline, the members' magazine; a limited number of tickets are also offered to members and the public here.

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Alan Baxter Ltd

75 Cowcross Street

London

EC1M 6EL

United Kingdom

View Map

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Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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