Michael Faraday Memorial

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Michael Faraday Memorial (Birds Eye)
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By adrbr @ 2008-03-08 13:52:49
The Michael Faraday Memorial is a monument to the Victorian scientist Michael Faraday in Elephant and Castle, London, England.

The stainless steel box-shaped structure was designed by Brutalist architect Rodney Gordon in 1959 and built in 1961 on the centre of the northern roundabout of the Elephant and Castle gyratory system. It commemorates Michael Faraday's importance as a scientist and was placed in Elephant and Castle because Faraday's birthplace is nearby in Newington Butts.

The interior of the construction contains a London Underground electrical substation for the Northern Line (somewhat appropriate for a memorial to one of the great pioneers of electricity). Rodney Gordon originally designed the box clad in glass, intending the workings of the transformer to be seen. The possibility of vandalism prevented this, so the design was changed to a metal casing.

Aspects of Gordon's design which explained the connection to Faraday were left out when it was constructed, so few people realise why it is there. However, there is an inscription in the concrete paving nearby explaining that it is the Faraday Memorial.

In 1996 the monument was given Grade II listed building status. In the same year the memorial was given a new lighting scheme designed by a local schoolgirl from English Martyrs R.C primary school, the result of a competition held by Blue Peter, the BBC children's programme.

There are plans to redevelop the Elephant and Castle site, which include moving the Michael Faraday Memorial 400 metres south-east to the Walworth Road where it would stand next to the Cuming Museum and possibly become part of a proposed science museum. Southwark Council claims that this would not occur until at least 2011.
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