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August 26, 2018

Dummy Houses in the Heart of London


Can you spot the dummy houses above?

From Urban75:



[Above, the entire five-story facade of the "pretend" houses. Although the building shares the same balconies, columns, and decoration as its neighbors, the game is given away by the 18 blackened windows.]

The Metropolitan Railway — the world's first underground railway — began conveying passengers in 1863, with the subterranean lines constructed using a method called "cut and cover."

As the name implies, this involved digging a deep hole to house the underground tracks, and then covering over the tunnel. 


[Close-up of the "entrance" to 24 Leinster Gardens]

The route of the line between Paddington and Bayswater (opened in 1868) necessitated the demolition of 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens, situated on a long, upmarket terrace of five-story houses, and it was decided to build a 5-foot-thick facade which matched the houses on either side of the break.

The ensuing gap behind the facade left a stretch of railway track open to the elements, which proved to be a handy place for passing locomotives to "vent" off. 


[View from the back]

It may sound rather rude, but venting was an essential means of keeping the underground tunnels clear of smoke and steam.

The original locomotives on the Metropolitan and District Line were powered by steam, and although they were fitted with condensers, engines still needed open air stretches of track to disperse the fumes. 


[You can clearly see the empty space where the original houses stood, with metal girders preventing adjacent buildings from falling onto the tracks, which disappear into tunnels at either end of the dummy houses.]

The exposed area was used by steam locomotives to let off steam and smoke, which may not have been too pleasant for the neighboring houses.

(Note: these photos were taken in the early 1990s; click here to see updated images from March 2012.)

August 26, 2018 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to make my day


Saw this at 7-Eleven yesterday.

Love at first sight would be an understatement.

Now part of my permanent collection.

August 26, 2018 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Collapsible Kayak — "High performance craft that fits in your closet"














August 26, 2018 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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