Saturday, March 30, 2013
A palace worthy of the Roman Catholic Bishops
When I moved to London, I lived in an area once known as Petersville. It was a suburb of London built on the low lying land across the Thames River from London proper.
When I went for a walk about the neighbourhood I would cross the North Branch of the Thames River at the Blackfriars Bridge. Above the large wrought iron span, overlooking the Petersville and Blackfriars neighbourhoods, there was a large and somewhat rundown looking white home with massive columns gracing the front.
I have since learned that the magnificent home was designed by a local architect, William Robinson, and it originally presented a less grandiose appearance. The massive columns were added before the home was donated to the Roman Catholic Church to be used as the new Bishop's Residence.
Reportedly, the donor, John Donally of Buffalo, New York, didn't find the original Italianate look regal enough for the bishops of London.
Today, thanks to some creative thinking, the old home has been converted into four condominiums and the structure may be around for many years to come.