Municipal Dreams

It’s easy to miss the modernist masterpiece of Hornsey Town Hall, completed in 1935, as you fight your way through the yummy mummies and baby buggies of Crouch End but take time to admire it.  It’s been described as ‘the quintessential English modern public building of the decade’. (1)  And look to the buildings to left and right and through the clutter of contemporary commercialism – this was a civic complex intended to enshrine the role of local government at the very centre of local life.


Hornsey’s first local administration had been formed as far back as 1867.  The Hornsey Local Board built its offices in Southwood Lane in Highgate the following year.  At that time, Hornsey was basically a collection of local villages but the coming of the railways would radically transform it.  With seven local rail stations by 1887, Hornsey became a centre of middle-class villadom – the…

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