OXO Tower Wharf
Location – Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH
The OXO Tower is located on the South Bank of the Thames and is often overlooked due to it proximity to the South Bank cultural hub and Bankside. However the OXO Tower Wharf has an intriguing history of its own.
The OXO Tower Wharf started life in around 1900 as part of a power station on the site that supplied electricity to the Post Office. In the later 1920s the site was purchased by the Liebig Extract of Meat Company who were famous for their famous OXO cubes. The company demolished a large part of the power station but extended the riverside frontage. The architect in charge of the project was Arthur Moore who built the building in an Art Deco style, however part of his remit from the company was to build a tower with illuminated signs advertising their famous product. When permission for these illuminated signs was refused, Moore came up with an ingenious solution, his tower included sets of windows which just happened to be in the shape of OXO.
The building in the late 20s was known as Stamford Wharf and the Liebig company had their meat delivered by barge into the massive cold stores where it was processed.
By the 1970s, like a large number of riverside wharfs, the site became virtually derelict and several plans were submitted to demolish the site.
In the 1980s there was a local movement to reinvigorate the Thames riverfront and develop the site. Coin Street Community Builders was created as a social enterprise and development trust to develop the South Bank for local communities.
Eventually they transformed the OXO Tower Wharf by building a mixed use facility which included shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes and bars. Many of the shops and galleries are let to small independent businesses and artists.
They let the rooftop space to Harvey Nichols to create the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brassiere.
To find out more about the OXO Tower visit their website here
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