Empress State Building

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Coordinates: 51°29′14.9″N 00°11′59.1″W / 51.487472°N 0.199750°W / 51.487472; -0.199750

The Empress State Building as seen from outside West Brompton station, with the now-demolished Earls Court Two in the foreground.

The Empress State Building is a high rise building on the West Brompton/Earl's Court border in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (West London). Its full address is Empress State Building, Empress Approach, Lillie Road, West Brompton, London, SW6 1TR.

History[edit]

The building is named after the Empress Hall which formerly stood on the site, and in tribute to the Empire State Building.[1] It was built between 1958 and 1961 on the site of the former Empress Hall and ice rink as a commercial building and was 100 metres (328 ft) tall with 28 floors, designed by Stone, Toms & Partners and was briefly the tallest commercial building in London until Millbank Tower was built in 1962. It was renovated in 2003 to a design by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. Three floors and 17.3 metres (57 ft) were added to its height. 'Orbit' is the name given to the private revolving bar on the top floor which offers panoramic views of London.

This building was originally designed as a hotel but was first used by the Admiralty and GCHQ. The Directorate of Naval Shore Telecommunications (formerly the Naval Shore Telecommunications Authority) had their national headquarters in the building in the 1980s and 90s.

Metropolitan Police offices[edit]

The building is occupied by staff from the Metropolitan Police Service[2] who refer to it as ESB.[3] Among other things, until 2020 the building was home to the assessment centre for prospective police officers.[citation needed] Some of the upper floors were occupied by staff from Transport for London until 2010. An annexe at the entrance to the site housed the Metropolitan Police Heritage Centre until January 2020.[4]

In March 2018 the London mayor's office agreed to buy the ESB estate for its MPS operations from Capco Plc, the developer of the adjacent Earl's Court regeneration scheme, for £250 million to house a new Counter Terrorism Operations Centre combining police and intelligence agencies' counter-terrorism units.[5][6] Funding for that project was confirmed in November 2020 and the building is expected to re-open in that role by late 2025.[7]

On 15 October 2019 the building received a Certificate of Immunity from listing by the then Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nicky Morgan, which is due to expire on 14 October 2024.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arthur Lloyd. "Empress Theatre/Hall". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  2. ^ Dave Hill (1 April 2011). "Earls Court redevelopment: grasping the scale". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 December 2011. Empress State Building next to Earls Court 2 (currently given over to police business that entrance security staff won't specify)
  3. ^ "Firearms licensing contact page". Metropolitan Police. ESB is also within an easy walking distance of Earls Court underground station
  4. ^ "Met museums and archives". Metropolitan Police Service. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Capco sells Empress State Building to Mayor of London's office". Propertyweek. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Press releases - Mayor confirms £412m investment in new counter-terror hub". Mayor of London. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  7. ^ "UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak allocates funds for UK's new Counter Terrorism Operations Centre". Economic Times. 26 November 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  8. ^ Historic England, "Empress State Building (1466914)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 27 April 2022

External links[edit]