Port of London Authority, central London building

10th July 2008, 15:22
Earlier this year I found the building in the attached pic and wondered why the PLA should have such an imposing building so far away from the docks.

It is situated on the north side of Charterhouse Street, London, directly opposite the central passageway of Smithfield Market (from where the pic was taken)

Anybody have any thoughts please ?

10th July 2008, 15:42
AFAIK, the PLA no longer have any connections with that building, and have not done so for a considerable time. My guess is that it is a listed building and the embossed writing has to remain in place.

14th July 2008, 09:49
Thamesphil, I hope you are right and the building, or at least the facade, will be kept in the event of redevelopment.

What I was more interested in though was what the PLA were doing there in the first place ?

K urgess
14th July 2008, 11:31
When formed the Port of London Authority controlled the tidal river from Teddington to The Nore.
They also controlled the meat imports through the Cold Stores and meat berths in Royal Albert Dock. Most food arriving in London when the PLA was formed in 1908 came up the river.
Since Smithfield is the principal food market area it makes sense to have an office where you can keep your eye on the trade.

15th July 2008, 12:18
Good thinking Kris, thanks for that. Almost next door is a cold store, see attached pic (I have a better one somewhere at home which I will dig out and post soon)



16th July 2008, 10:03
Here's the pic of the front gable of the cold store next door to the PLA offices - the text on the ceramic panel reads "The Central Cold Store"

If this was the PLA store, how did the produce get there from the docks ? I know the Met Railway runs very close at Farringdon, I believe there was a freight terminal somewhere close by, is there anybody out there who may know ?

K urgess
16th July 2008, 11:24
That was built by the PLA in 1914, Andy.


Steve Wheat
7th November 2011, 20:07
The 2 adjacent buildings are now co-joined for form Citigen, a district heating and chill plant built in 1993 serving the city (GSMD/Barbican/Guildhall/Bastion House/Museum of London/ etc) I would be grateful for any details of early history.
The PLA facade wasbilt in 1914 but the PLA were there as early as 1908. The building next door (cold stores) was originally a coal fired power station built in 1893 to supply the markets using Paxman steam engines , Butterly Boilers and Crompton generators. After the cold store caught fire and was abandoned it was used to perfect a product called Pyecrete to be used to make floating docks in WW2. Any info of history both before this period or the intervening years before 1960 would be very useful to me. Steve