The People's Palace - Ally Pally

If you’re a North London resident, there is a strong chance that you will know about the treasure that is Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally to the locals). You may also know a little about the history and the upcoming regeneration. For those of you that don’t....

 ... let me give you a quick run-down: it’s all great news for North Londoners.

Let’s start at the beginning, just in case you’re new to this. Alexandra Palace was first built 150 years ago in 1873 – that makes 2013 its sesquicentennial anniversary (you can write that word down and impress your friends with it).  Originally built for public recreation (hence the moniker, “The People’s Palace) Ally Pally has had a very colourful past. It was the HQ for the world’s first regular television programming, played host to horse-racing, burnt down, was rebuilt and subsequently held within its walls a plethora of exhibitions, events and currently holds our local ice-rink. As such it has also hosted, I would imagine, more first-dates for teenagers that any other establishment in the area (I can’t prove this).    

To mark the anniversary year a raft of new funding has been announced that is set to propel Ally Pally back into the forefront of places-to-go in modern North London. This is something we will all benefit from, so pay attention! The regeneration looks to be a blend of conservation and construction – maintaining the old and building the new. There are plans to enhance the grounds, make repairs and even implement some new shops and eateries. Given its heritage status, we would imagine that it will be done sympathetically to the building; a 24 hour MacDonald’s, for instance, would turn a lot of people off the idea, but it isn’t something that would get approval (we hope). The Alexandra Palace website has a list of the proposed plans and some info on what people have voted to be of most importance – I particularly like the look of the upgraded entrances and re-opening of derelict space. Hopefully the works being carried out will not only benefit North London in terms of visitors to the area and increase trade – but also by reminding us of the beautiful and historic landmark that sits looking over us every day. 

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