A nineteenth-century Dulwich house, that underwent a massive restoration thanks to the determined efforts of local people, has been nominated for a blue plaque.
One of the earliest to be constructed of mass concrete, this house was built in 1873 by the concrete pioneer Charles Drake (1839-1892). Drake lived there for two years with his wife Janie and their family.
Hailed as an outstanding piece of his work, it survived damage from a bomb in World War 2. However, by the late 20th Century it had fallen into extreme disrepair.
It was rescued from dereliction by the determined efforts of the people of Southwark, the London Historic Buildings Trust, the Dulwich Society and the Southwark Heritage Association.
In 2014 the house won an RICS award for Building Conservation and the borough was congratulated for “taking firm and decisive action to ensure the survival of a unique property.”
Today, The Concrete House houses five modern, shared-ownership flats.
For the past nineteen years the News is proud to have been one of the founders of the Blue Plaque scheme here in Southwark and nominations are now open for next year.
The scheme came about after the News and Southwark Heritage Association tried to find a way around English Heritage’s strict criteria, that a building must be standing and the person dead for them to qualify.
The latter was not really a problem, but the idea that so much of our rich heritage could not be recognised because a building was no longer there was not acceptable to us. Much of our physical heritage was destroyed in the Blitz, but it is perhaps the 1960s and ‘70s architects who did the most damage. So, we invited Southwark Council to join us in drawing up our own Blue Plaques and getting local people to vote. There are now well over 50 blue plaques across the borough.
To vote for The Concrete House or any of the nominees for a Southwark Blue Plaque, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the person you want to nominate. Voting closes on Thursday 1st June.