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Canary Wharf Pier

Peter Ackroyd on Canary Wharf

'The emergence of the new financial district in the area now known generically as 'Canary Wharf' has transformed the social and economic life of the immediate riverine neighbourhood. It coincided with the 'deregulation' of the markets of the City, so that it became an emblem of change itself. It facilitated the development of a new railway network known as the 'Docklands Light Railway', an extension of the Jubilee Underground line and the development of new Docklands highways. In the process both banks of the Thames were rejuvenated.'

'There are 'now' large blocks of apartments where there were once derelict wharves. The old canals of the docks have been replaced with marinas. Shopping areas, apartments, public houses and walkways are now, for example, situated where once St Katharine's Dock lay huddled beneath the Tower. Tower, having been closed in 1968, remained in a broken and dilapidated state before its restoration as a new centre of urban life. In one sense the neighbourhood of the river is recovering its ancient exuberance and energy, and is reverting to its existence before the residents and houses were displaced by the building of the docks in the nineteenth century.'

'There are also buildings along the Thames that have been lent a pharaonic or Egyptian appearance, in honour of the fact that in legend the Thames has also been known as Isis. The great skyscraper of Canary Wharf, Cabot House in Canada Square, has been constructed according to its architect Cesar Pelli as 'a square prism with pyramidal top in the traditional form of the obelisk'. This powerful talisman has now become one of the river's landmarks.'

Peter Ackroyd's Readings on Canary Wharf

Hear Peter Ackroyd's Readings on Canary Wharf

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History of the piers

History at Canary Wharf Pier.

Download the exclusive Dark Waters history of the piers pdf here (pdf - 2MB).

Buildings around Canary Wharf Pier

  • Number Key for Dark Waters Map Side One
  • 48-53, 64-71
  • (14 buildings)