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HomeCultureArchitectureLondon's Iconic BT Tower Being Turned Into a Hotel

London’s Iconic BT Tower Being Turned Into a Hotel

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By Doyle of London – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=128583925

It’s an inevitability these days that pretty much every historic building in London, no longer used for its historical purpose, will be turned into a hotel. And now, it looks like a building that was once an official secret despite everyone knowing it was there, is now going to be turned into a hotel.

The BT Tower, a historic landmark of London, has been recently sold for a whopping £275m (about $400 million) and is set to undergo a massive transformation. Built in 1965, the towering 177-meter structure was initially used for transmitting signals to television broadcasters. It held the title of the tallest building in the city for 16 years until the NatWest Tower was constructed in the City of London.

The tower’s former owners, BT Group, announced the sale to MCR Hotels, a move that has been welcomed by the architectural heritage campaign group C20. The group hopes to see the iconic revolving restaurant reinstated, which was once located on the top floor of the tower. The restaurant was run by Billy Butlin, the founder of Butlin’s Holiday Camps, and it took 22 minutes to complete a full rotation while offering breathtaking views of the city.

In its early days, the public was allowed to visit the revolving restaurant and the viewing platform. However, after an IRA bomb explosion in 1971, the viewing platform was closed to the public, and security in the building was increased. The tower’s role in telecommunications diminished as fixed and mobile technology evolved, and its microwave aerials were removed more than a decade ago.

The BT Tower was awarded Grade II listed status in 2003, and it has been featured in numerous films, books, and television series, including Doctor Who, The Bourne Ultimatum, and V for Vendetta. Tyler Morse, CEO, and owner of MCR Hotels, expressed pride in preserving the beloved building and plans to develop proposals that will highlight its iconic value as a hotel for generations to come.

Ben Wood, a technology analyst at CCS Insight, believes that the sale of the BT Tower marks the end of an era in the communications industry. He said that the tower was highly impractical and required significant upkeep. However, the public’s inability to access the tower for years has triggered excitement among people to stay in such an iconic building, repurposed for leisure use.

Overall, the BT Tower’s sale and transformation signify a new beginning for the landmark as a hotel and preserve its iconic value as a historic symbol of London’s telecommunications history.

I do hope they re-open the restaurant and I hope that it becomes a funky place to stay in London.

Author: jonathan

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile who launched Anglotopia.net in 2007 to channel his passion for Britain. Londontopia is its sister publication dedicated to everything London.

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