Incredible old photos show London’s skyline before tall skyscrapers were built


It’s strange to remember that not so long ago the London skyline was very different from what it is today.

Renzo Piano’s soaring glow and Norman Foster’s gigantic pickle are now must-sees in the background of most views of London.

But rewind just a quarter of a century and those buildings, which are now 1,016 feet tall and 590 feet tall respectively, were just a distant pipe dream.

London resident Eryl Humphrey Jones shared some of her old photographs of London, taken between August 2008 and January 2010.

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Rainbow over London bridges, August 2008

Old snapshots reveal an incredibly low-rise city with empty skies, in stark contrast to today’s London.

Eryl, for his part, preferred the look of the city’s skyline at the time.

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She said: “Canary Wharf can be seen in a few photos, but Tower 42 and the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie, the Cheesegrater and the other huge buildings were just sketches on an architect’s drawing pad.

“My least favorite is the mass of towers at Nine Elms that completely ruin our view of Battersea Power Station – St George’s Tower was the first, now it’s just a hideous rash on the horizon. that no local can afford to buy – horrible plagues!

Low rise London at night, January 2010

“I’m at the end of the world, so I’ve had years to watch the skyline change.

“Before, I could see the Millennium Dome, but it disappeared behind the new buildings in Canary Wharf. “

London’s first skyscrapers

The early high-rise buildings that are visible in photos – including, in some, the Gherkin – are significantly less flashy than their newer counterparts.

The first real “skyscrapers” to be built in London were the 600 foot NatWest Tower, now Tower 42, completed in 1980 in the City of London and 771 ft One Canada Square, completed in 1991, forming the centerpiece of Canary Wharf development.

Do you prefer low-rise London or today’s skyline? Let us know in the comments below.

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