Use it or lose it concerns for Camden’s ‘best-kept secret’

Little-known public garden is nine floors up on top of a block in Holborn

Saturday, 2nd July — By Harry Taylor

top of Post Building

The top of the Post Building

A ST Giles artist has urged people to make the most of a free little-known public garden nine floors up on top of a block in Holborn, calling it “Camden’s Shard”.

Frances Kells called the Post Building, once the site of a Royal Mail sorting office, one of Camden’s “best kept secrets” and urged that people should “use it or lose it”.

The garden is accessed via a reception with security checks in place in Museum Street, next door to a Nationwide branch.

She said: “You just feel so free up here, and you can see all around London. I was up here during the flypast and you had such a good view of the planes approaching from Stratford and heading over towards the Palace.

“You are just above everything here, and you can see how the light bounces and changes off different parts of the city. The thing is nobody knows about it, and I worry that if people don’t come up here, they’ll say nobody is using it and take the access away.”

The current glass and steel-framed building replaced the former Western Central District Office which was demolished. It stands on top of Mail Rail tunnels that run from central sorting office at Mount Pleasant. An old spiral chute is on display in reception.

The amazing north view

Ms Kells, who has spent long parts of her life living in Holborn since graduating from the once-nearby Central St Martins art school, said she fears about the controversial 21-storey proposals for Museum Street, which would dwarf nearby buildings.

“One of the things about being up here is that it’s the tallest building nearby, but that would crowd it and put this in the shadow. This is a public space and that view and enjoyment would be lost.”

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