Building the Bank of England Money, Architecture, Society, 1694-1942 Daniel M. Abramson

Series:
The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
25 Nov 2005
ISBN:
9780300109245
Dimensions:
352 pages: 310 x 250 x 24mm
Illustrations:
180 b&w illustrations, 77 colour images

Categories:

The Bank of England symbolizes the economic strength, influence, and potency of Britain. Founded in 1694, its world-famous buildings were built and rebuilt four times by different architects, most notably Sir John Soane. The Bank's three-and-aquarter-acre complex has included elegant public banking halls and private offices, courtyards and gardens, warehouses and vaults, residential apartments and guards' barracks. This lavishly illustrated book examines for the first time the entire architectural history of the Bank from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. Drawing on a variety of perspectives, the book relates the history of the Bank of England to current debates on English economic, social, and urban history, including issues of national identity, mercantile politics, and the commercialization of culture. The book also shows how the building itself has expressed various historical tensions among the Bank's inhabitants and publics: its directors and detractors, its clerks and clientele, its tourists, and even its mob attackers.

Daniel M. Abramson is associate professor of architectural history and director of architectural studies at Tufts University.

“A major undertaking  . . . this volume will stand as a standard in the study of architecture for some time to come.”—Art Times