Last weekend I was able to re-aquaint myself last weekend with one of the most interesting art-deco buildings to be found near the boundaries Middlesex on the Southbank.
The Oxo Tower is certainly a dramatic landmark – captured here in the late afternoon sunlight.
The tower was built originally as a power station to supply
electricity to the Royal Mail Post Office and subsequently acquired by the Liebig Extract of Meat Company – manufacturers of Oxo beef stock cubes – in the 1920s. Between 1928-1929 it was largely rebuilt in the art deco design that we see today by architect Albert Moore. Liebig used the building as a huge warehouse and distribution centre for their meat imports from South America.
Liebig had originally wanted the tower to feature an illuminated Oxo sign but permission for this advertising was refused so the tower was built with four sets of vertically-aligned windows in the shaped as a circle, cross and circle.
Oxo vacated the site after the Second World War and the building fell into disrepair and was derelict by the 1970s.
The building came under threat of demolition but protests from local residents saved it and since redevelopment in the 1992 it is now home to a collection of art retail outlets and exhibitions as well as a Harvey Nichols restaurant.
I also found much smaller example of vintage advertising on a building further along the South Bank above a shop at Gabriels Wharf in the form of old signage for Karpol which was a type of car polish sold in the 1930s.