December 30, 2015

ARIZONA : Indian Watchtower at Desert View - Grand Canyon


The Desert View Watchtower



A snorkel lift was used to complete condition assessments prior to the renovations, 
and will be used again during the renovations, Grand Canyon Village, AZ (Oct/2010)

Desert View Watchtower in Grand Canyon National Park to Undergo Renovations 

National Park Service

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Desert View Watchtower, one of the most prominent architectural features on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, is slated to undergo renovations over the next several months.

The Watchtower is located at Desert View, the eastern-most developed area on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the tower was constructed in 1932. Architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter’s design takes its influences from the architecture of the ancestral Puebloan people of the Colorado Plateau. She collaborated on the design with Hope artisans of the day, including well-known Hopi artist Fred Kabotie whose murals adorn much of the second level of the tower.

Today, the 70-foot tower contains a gift store and its upper floors serve as observation decks where visitors from around the world enjoy magnificent views of the canyon and the Painted Desert. Seventy-eight years after it was constructed, the tower’s roof and windows leak and its mortar and many wood elements are deteriorating, threatening the integrity of the structure and damaging its famous murals. As a result, Xanterra South Rim, L.L.C.—the concessioner that manages the gift store and maintains the Watchtower—will be undertaking a two phase renovation project.

During the first phase of renovations, the tower’s roof will be replaced. Work on phase I of the project is expected to begin in mid- to late January. While visitors will have access to the interior of the tower throughout the renovations, it will be necessary to close the observation deck for approximately three weeks while the roof is being repaired. This closure is expected to occur beginning in mid-January. Work on the roofing project should be completed sometime in March.

Phase II of the renovations, will involve repairing, known as “pointing”, masonry mortar joints and repair or replacement of windows and exterior wood elements. During this phase of the renovations, access to portions of the exterior of the tower may need to be restricted in the immediate vicinity of heavy equipment and the ongoing repairs. Phase II of the project is expected to begin sometime in March.

D. L. Norton will be the General Contractor for the Watchtower renovations; and completion of the project is expected late in 2010.

Desert View Watchtower

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Desert View Watchtower, also known as the Indian Watchtower at Desert View, is a 70-foot (21 m)-high stone building located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon within Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, United States. The tower is located at Desert View, more than 20 miles (32 km) to the east of the main developed area at Grand Canyon Village, toward the east entrance to the park. The four-story structure, completed in 1932, was designed by American architect Mary Colter, an employee of the Fred Harvey Company who also created and designed many other buildings in the Grand Canyon vicinity including Hermit's Rest and the Lookout Studio. The interior contains murals by Fred Kabotie.

Description
The watchtower was the last of the series of Mary Colter-designed visitor concession structures at the Grand Canyon until her renovation of the Bright Angel Lodge in 1935. The tower was designed to resemble an Ancient Pueblo Peoples watchtower, but its size dwarfs any known Pueblan-built tower. The closest prototypes for such a structure may be found at Hovenweep National Monument.The structure is composed of a circular coursed masonry tower rising from a rubble base. The base was intentionally designed to convey a partly ruinous appearance, perhaps of an older structure on which the watchtower was later built. The base is arranged within a large circle with the tower to the north. Tiny windows are irregularly disposed, some of which are themselves irregular in shape. The main space is the Kiva Room in the base structure, apparently roofed with logs that were salvaged from the old Grandview Hotel. The ceiling is a false structure concealing the roof structure that supports an observation deck. The Kiva Room features a fireplace with a large picture window directly above where the chimney would ordinarily go. Smoke is drawn away through an offset, concealed flue. The room still contains its original furnishings, which are part of the historic designation. A separate, apparently ruinous structure was actually built in that form to provide a storage place for firewood.

The tower rises as an open shaft lined by circular balconies overlooking the central space. Access from balcony to balcony is provided by small stairways. At the top the space is decked over, creating an enclosed observation level with large glazed windows. An open observation area on the roof of this space is now closed to visitors and is used for radio equipment. The steel and concrete structure of the observation level is concealed behind plaster, stone and wood. The tower is decorated by bold murals by Fred Kabotie, with other, petroglyph-style decorations by Fred Greer. Small windows in the tower's shaft let beams of light into the lower space. The tower also features a number of "reflectoscopes" — black mirrors to reflect the view of the canyon in a more abstract style, providing visitors an alternative view of the Canyon.

Design
Mary Colter spent six months researching archeological prototypes and construction techniques before building a model of the site, studying the design of the tower using clay. Before the final design was completed Colter had a 70-foot (21 m) platform built to assess the views from the proposed site. Engineering was provided by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. Colter was responsible for selecting Kabotie and Greer to decorate the interior. Greer's rock art paintings are copies of now-destroyed petroglyphs at Abo, New Mexico, and may be their only surviving representation.

Historic District
In addition to its individual designation as part of the M.E.J. Colter Buildings National Historic Landmark, the Watchtower is part of the Desert View Watchtower Historic District, which includes a number of support structures built and used by the Fred Harvey Company, and later used by the National Park Service. Significant buildings include the Desert View Caretaker's Residence (1930), the oldest extant structure in the area. This rustic stone and wood house was initially built as a rest stop for Harveycar tours right on the canyon rim, and was moved to its present location when the Watchtower was built. Fred Kabotie may have lived here while he was the Watchtower's caretaker. Several other buildings, including cabins, sheds and a comfort station are included in the historic district.

Historic designation
The bottom floor of the tower now contains a gift shop while the upper floors serve as an observation deck from which visitors to the national park can view eastern portions of the Grand Canyon. Desert View Watchtower was designated a United States National Historic Landmark as part of the Mary Jane Colter Buildings collective nomination on May 28, 1987, comprising the Desert View Watchtower, Hopi House, Lookout Studio and Hermit's Rest. The tower is also part of a National Register of Historic Places historic district, the Desert View Watchtower Historic District, designated on January 3, 1995.

In 2008, two tourists were banned from all American national parks for the period of a year after using white-out and permanent marker to correct the punctuation on a sign on the Desert View Watchtower, which had been painted by Colter.


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December 21, 2015

NEW MEXICO : Doorway - San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church


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Historic San Felipe de Neri Church, Old Town, Albuquerque, New Mexico

changed the turquoise blue already

San Felipe de Neri Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

San Felipe de Neri Church is a historic Catholic church located on the north side of Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Built in 1793, it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. Originally, Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez named the church San Francisco Xavier, after the Viceroy of New Spain. Shortly afterward, The Duke of Albuquerque changed the name to San Felipe, after the King Philip of Spain. San Felipe de Neri was established in 1706 under the direction of Fray Manuel Moreno and initially stood to the northwest of the Plaza. The original building was completed in 1719. The original church building collapsed in 1792 after a heavy rain and was replaced by the current structure the following year. The towers were added in 1861, a parish school was constructed in 1878, and a convent for the Sisters of Charity was built on the west side of the church in 1881. Today the church complex is undergoing extensive renovations inside and out.


Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, New Mexico


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December 16, 2015

ARIZONA : Sunrise at Wahweap Marina - Lake Powell



 Lake Powell Sunrise "Lake Powell Resort", Page, Arizona

Lake Powell


Lake Powell Resort is located at Wahweap Marina in Page, Arizona - right in the heart of all your "down-lake" activities and adventures. The Resort offers comfortable lodging and suites, terrific dining, and an ideal place to return to each evening after a day of fun and relaxation.

Here you can kick back by the side of the pool and enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in the West. Take a boat tour, dinner cruise, or rent a powerboat for an afternoon of exploring canyons and having a picnic on your own secluded beach. With comfortable hotel rooms and suites, spectacular meals, and all the comforts of home, there's no better place on the down-lake shores of Lake Powell.

Lake Powell Resort at Wahweap Marina
100 Lake Shore Dr, Page, AZ

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December 13, 2015

ARIZONA : Fossils - Petrified Forest National Park


Fossils - Petrified Forest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Colorful mineral detail inside a broken log, Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, Arizona

During the Late Triassic, downed trees accumulating in river channels in what became the park were buried periodically by sediment containing volcanic ash. Groundwater dissolved silica (silicon dioxide) from the ash and carried it into the logs, where it formed quartz crystals that gradually replaced the organic matter. Traces of iron oxide and other substances combined with the silica to create varied colors in the petrified wood.

In Petrified Forest National Park, most of the logs in the park retained their original external form during petrification but lost their internal structure. However, a small fraction of the logs and most of the park’s petrified animal bones have cells and other spaces that are mineral-filled but still retain much of their original organic structure. With these permineralized fossils, it is possible to study the cellular make-up of the original organisms with the aid of a microscope. Other organic matter—typically leaves, seeds, cones, pollen grains, spores, small stems, and fish, insect, and animal remains—have been preserved in the park as compression fossils, flattened by the weight of the sediments above until only a thin film remains in the rock.

A petrified log in the Petrified Forest
Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, Arizona
Much of the park’s petrified wood is from Araucarioxylon arizonicum trees, while some found in the northern part of the park is from Woodworthia arizonica and Schilderia adamanica trees. At least nine species of fossil trees from the park have been identified; all are extinct. The park has many other kinds of fossils besides trees. The Chinle, considered one of the richest Late Triassic fossil-plant deposits in the world, contains more than 200 fossil plant taxa. Plant groups represented in the park include lycopods, ferns, cycads, conifers, ginkgoes, as well as unclassified forms. The park has also produced many fossil vertebrates—including giant crocodile-like reptiles called phytosaurs, large salamander-like amphibians called Buettneria, and early dinosaurs—and invertebrates, including freshwater snails and clams.


Petrified Forest National Park
Holbrook, Arizona

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December 7, 2015

ARIZONA : Petrified Forest National Park - Holbrook


Petrified Forest National Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Petrified Forest National Park is a United States national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the fee area of the park covers about 170 square miles (440 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. The park's headquarters is about 26 miles (42 km) east of Holbrook along Interstate 40 (I-40), which parallels the BNSF Railway's Southern Transcon, the Puerco River, and historic U.S. Route 66, all crossing the park roughly east–west. The site, the northern part of which extends into the Painted Desert, was declared a national monument in 1906 and a national park in 1962. About 800,000 people visit the park each year and take part in activities including sightseeing, photography, hiking, and backpacking.


Fossilization in silicification - Tree trunk, Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, Arizona


Averaging about 5,400 feet (1,600 m) in elevation, the park has a dry windy climate with temperatures that vary from summer highs of about 100 °F (38 °C) to winter lows well below freezing. More than 400 species of plants, dominated by grasses such as bunchgrass, blue grama, and sacaton, are found in the park. Fauna include larger animals such as pronghorns, coyotes, and bobcats; many smaller animals, such as deer mice; snakes; lizards; seven kinds of amphibians, and more than 200 species of birds, some of which are permanent residents and many of which are migratory. About half of the park is designated wilderness.




The Petrified Forest is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic, about 225 million years ago. The sediments containing the fossil logs are part of the widespread and colorful Chinle Formation, from which the Painted Desert gets its name. Beginning about 60 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau, of which the park is part, was pushed upward by tectonic forces and exposed to increased erosion. All of the park's rock layers above the Chinle, except geologically recent ones found in parts of the park, have been removed by wind and water. In addition to petrified logs, fossils found in the park have included Late Triassic ferns, cycads, ginkgoes, and many other plants as well as fauna including giant reptiles called phytosaurs, large amphibians, and early dinosaurs. Paleontologists have been unearthing and studying the park's fossils since the early 20th century.




The park's earliest human inhabitants arrived at least 8,000 years ago. By about 2,000 years ago, they were growing corn in the area and shortly thereafter building pit houses in what would become the park. Later inhabitants built above-ground dwellings called pueblos. Although a changing climate caused the last of the park's pueblos to be abandoned by about 1400 CE, more than 600 archeological sites, including petroglyphs, have been discovered in the park. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers visited the area, and by the mid-19th century a U.S. team had surveyed an east–west route through the area where the park is now located and noted the petrified wood. Later, roads and a railway followed similar routes and gave rise to tourism and, before the park was protected, to large-scale removal of fossils. Theft of petrified wood remains a problem in the 21st century.

Geography
Petrified Forest National Park straddles the border between Apache County and Navajo County in northeastern Arizona. The park is about 30 miles (48 km) long from north to south, and its width varies from a maximum of about 12 miles (19 km) in the north to a minimum of about 1 mile (1.6 km) along a narrow corridor between the north and south, where the park widens again to about 4 to 5 miles (6 to 8 km).

I-40, former U.S. Route 66, the BNSF Railway, and the Puerco River bisect the park generally east–west along a similar route. Adamana, a ghost town, is about 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the park along the BNSF tracks. Holbrook, about 26 miles (42 km) west of park headquarters along I-40, is the nearest city. Bisecting the park north–south is Park Road, which runs between I-40 near park headquarters on the north and U.S. Route 180 on the south. Historic Highway 180, an earlier alignment of the modern route, crosses the southern edge of the park. Like Route 66, it has deteriorated and is closed. Many unpaved maintenance roads, closed to the public, intersect Park Road at various points.

The fee area of the park covers about 170 square miles (440 km2). The Navajo Nation borders the park on the north and northeast. State-owned land, federal land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, and private land, much of it used for cattle ranching, adjoin the other borders. The park’s elevation above sea level varies from a low of 5,340 feet (1,630 m) along the Puerco River to a high of 6,230 feet (1,900 m) at Pilot Rock; the average elevation is about 5,400 feet (1,600 m). The terrain varies from gentle hills and major petrified wood deposits in the south to eroded badlands in the north. Most of the park's intermittent streams—including Lithodendron Wash, Dead Wash, Ninemile Wash, and Dry Wash—empty into the Puerco River. In the southern part of the park, Cottonwood Wash and Jim Camp Wash flow into the Little Colorado River.



Petrified Forest National Park
Holbrook, Arizona


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November 23, 2015

MONTANA : "false peak" - Glacier National Park



Mount Grinnell
M O N T A N A
Treasure State



Sunrise and Grinnell Point, Glacier National Park, Montana


Mount Grinnell - "false peak"

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mount Grinnell is a peak located in the heart of Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana near Mount Gould and Mount Wilbur. It is named after George Bird Grinnell. From the Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake the "false peak" of Grinnell Point can be seen.





Mt. Gould and Grinnell Point in Glacier National Park, Montana


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November 14, 2015

ARIZONA : Southern Arizona - Saguaro National Park



"Saguaro, Saguaro National Park", Tucson, Arizona


Saguaro National Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The park is divided into two sections, called districts, lying approximately 20 miles (32 km) east and 15 miles (24 km) west of the center of the city of Tucson, Arizona. The total area in 2011 was 91,442 acres (37,005 ha) of which 70,905 acres (28,694 ha) is designated wilderness. There is a visitor center in each of the two districts. Both are easily reached by car from Tucson, but there is no public transport into the park. Both districts conserve fine tracts of the Sonoran Desert, including ranges of significant hills, the Tucson Mountains in the west and the Rincon Mountains in the east. The park gets its name from the saguaro, a large cactus which is native to the region. Many other kinds of cactus, including barrel, cholla, and prickly pear, are abundant in the park. One endangered animal, the lesser long-nosed bat, lives in the park part of the year during its migration, together with one threatened species, the Mexican spotted owl.

Saguaro National Monument was created on March 1, 1933 by President Herbert Hoover. On October 14, 1994, Congress elevated Saguaro to National Park status.

Facilities in the park include 150 miles (240 km) of well marked and maintained hiking trails, and shorter walking trails with interpretative information available. Backcountry hiking is not advisable during the hot summer months.


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November 2, 2015

ENGLAND : Oxford Street - London


E N G L A N D
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Three girls and a fruit shop, Oxford Street, London


Oxford Street

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, with around half a million daily visitors, and as of 2011 had approximately 300 shops. It is part of the A40, a major road between London and Fishguard, though it is not signed as such.

The road was originally a Roman Road, part of the Via Trinobantina between Essex and Hampshire via London. It was known as Tyburn Road through the Middle Ages and was once notorious as a street where prisoners from Newgate Prison would be transported towards a public hanging. It became known as Oxford Street in the 18th century, and began to change character from a residential street to commercial and retail purposes by the late 19th century, despite attracting street traders, confidence tricksters and prostitution. The first department stores in Britain opened on Oxford Street in the early 20th century, including Selfridges, John Lewis and HMV. Unlike nearby shopping streets such as Bond Street, it has retained an element of downmarket street trading alongside more prestigious retail stores. The street suffered heavy bombing during World War II, and several longstanding stores including John Lewis were completely destroyed and rebuilt from scratch.

Despite competition from other shopping centres such as Westfield Stratford City and the Brent Cross shopping centre, Oxford Street remains in high demand as a retail location, with several chains hosting their flagship stores on the street. Since 1959, the switching on of Christmas lights has been a popular event, and is performed annually by a celebrity. However, the combination of a very popular retail area and a main thoroughfare for London buses and taxis has caused significant problems with traffic congestion, safety and pollution. Various traffic management schemes have been proposed by Transport for London, including a ban on private vehicles during daytime hours on weekdays and Saturdays, and improved pedestrian crossings.

Location
Oxford Street runs for approximately 1.2 miles (1.9 km). From Marble Arch, where it meets Park Lane and Edgware Road, it runs east past Vere Street, New Bond Street and Bond Street station, up to Oxford Circus, which is the junction with Regent Street and Oxford Circus station.

Beyond Oxford Circus, it crosses Great Portland Street, Wardour Street and Rathbone Place to the junction with Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road, next to Tottenham Court Road station. The road ahead is New Oxford Street, and then Holborn. The road is entirely within the City of Westminster.

The street is classified as part of the A40, a trunk road running from London to Fishguard (via Oxford, Cheltenham, Brecon and Haverfordwest), although like many roads in Central London which are no longer through routes it is not signposted with the road number. It is within the London Congestion Charging Zone. Numerous bus routes run along Oxford Street, including 10, 25, 55, 73, 98, 390 and Night Buses N8, N55, N73, N98 and N207.



People on Oxford Street London

History
Early history
Oxford Street follows the route of a Roman road, the Via Trinobantina, which linked Calleva Atrebatum (near Silchester, Hampshire) with Camulodunum (now Colchester) via London and became one of the major routes in and out of the city.

Between the 12th century and 1782 it was variously known as Tyburn Road (after the River Tyburn that ran just to the south of it, and now flows underneath it), Uxbridge Road (this name is still used for the portion of the London-Oxford road between Shepherds Bush and Uxbridge), Worcester Road and Oxford Road. On Ralph Aggas' "Plan of London", published in the 16th century, the road is described partly "The Waye to Uxbridge" followed by "Oxford Road", showing rural farmland where the junction of Oxford Street and Rathbone Place now is.

Despite being a major coaching route, there were several obstacles along it, including the bridge over the Tyburn. A turnpike trust was established in the 1730s to improve upkeep of the road. It became notorious as the route taken by prisoners on their final journey from Newgate Prison to the gallows at Tyburn near Marble Arch. Spectators drunkenly jeered at prisoners as they carted along the road, and could buy rope used in the executions from the hangman in taverns. By about 1729, the road had become known as Oxford Street.

The street began to be redeveloped in the 18th century after many of the surrounding fields were purchased by the Earl of Oxford. In 1739, local gardener Thomas Huddle began to build property on the north-east side. John Rocque's Map of London, published in 1746, shows urban buildings as far as North Audley Street, but only intermittent rural property thereafter, which was not completed until the 1750s.[10] Further development along the street occurred between 1763 to 1793. The Pantheon opened on No. 173 in 1772.

The street became popular with entertainers including bear-baiters, theatres and public houses. However, it was not attractive to the middle and upper classes due to the presence of the Tyburn gallows and its proximity to St Giles, then a notorious rookery. The gallows were removed in 1783, and by the end of the century, Oxford Street was built up from St Giles Circus to Park Lane, containing a mix of residential houses and entertainment. The Princess's Theatre opened in 1840. It is now the Oxford Walk shopping area.

Retail development
Oxford Street changed character from residential to retail towards the end of the 19th century. Drapers, cobblers and furniture stores began to appear on the street, which were ultimately expanded to the first department stores. Street vendors began to sell tourist souvenirs on the street during this time. A plan of Oxford Street in Tallis's London Street Views, published in the late 1830s, remarks that almost all the street, save for the far western end, was primarily retail, with shop fronts. John Lewis started in 1864 as a small shop at No. 132, while Selfridges opened on 15 March 1909 at No. 400.[13] Most of the southern side of Oxford Street west of Davies Street was completely rebuilt between 1865 and 1890, allowing a more uniform freehold ownership. By the 1930s, the street was almost entirely retail, a position that remains today. However, unlike nearby streets such as Bond Street and Park Lane, there remained a seedy element including street traders and prostitutes. The advent of closed-circuit television has reduced the attraction of scam artists and traders to the area.

Oxford Street suffered considerable bombing during the Second World War. During the night and early hours of 17 to 18 September 1940, 268 Heinkel He 111 and Dornier Do 17 bombers targeted the West End, particularly Oxford Street. Many buildings were badly damaged or destroyed, either from a direct hit or subsequent fires, including four department stores: John Lewis, Selfridges, Bourne & Hollingsworth and Peter Robinson. George Orwell wrote in his diary for 24 September that Oxford Street was "completely empty of traffic, and only a few pedestrians", and saw "innumerable fragments of broken glass". John Lewis caught fire again on 25 September and was reduced to a shell. It remained a bomb site for the remainder of the war and beyond, finally being demolished and rebuilt between 1958 and 1960. Peter Robinson partially reopened on 22 September, but large parts of the premises remained closed off with war advertising and propaganda. The basement was converted into studios for the BBC Eastern Service. Orwell made several broadcasts here from 1941 to 1943.

Selfridges was targeted again on 17 April 1941, suffering further damage, including the destruction of the Palm Court Restaurant. The basement was converted to a communications base, with a dedicated line run along Oxford Street to Whitehall, and allowed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to make secure and direct telephone calls to the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The store was damaged again on 6 December 1944 after a V2 rocket exploded on nearby Duke Street, causing its christmas tree displays to collapse into the street outside. Damage was quickly repaired and the shop re-opened the following day.

In September 1973 a shopping-bag bomb was detonated by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at the offices of the Prudential Assurance Company on Oxford Street, injuring six people. A further bomb was detonated by the IRA on the street in December, injuring three people.

The human billboard Stanley Green began selling on Oxford Street in 1968, advertising his belief of the link of proteins to sexual libido and the dangers therein. He regularly patrolled the street with a placard headlined "less passion from less protein", and advertised his pamphlet Eight Passion Proteins with Care until his death in 1993. His placards are now housed in the British Museum.

Centre Point, at the far end of Oxford Street next to Tottenham Court Road station, was designed by property developer Harry Hyams and opened in 1966. It failed to find a suitable tenant and sat empty for many years, eventually becoming occupied by squatters who used it as a centre of protest against the lack of suitable accommodation in Central London. In 2015, the building began to be converted into residential flats, which is expected to be completed in 2017.

Notable buildings
Oxford Street is home to a number of major department stores and numerous flagship stores, as well as hundreds of smaller shops. It is the biggest shopping street within Inner London, and one of the most popular tourist destinations with an annual estimated turnover of over £1 billion. It forms part of a shopping district in the West End of London, along with other streets including Covent Garden, Bond Street and Piccadilly.

The New West End Company, formerly the Oxford Street Association, is a group that oversees stores and trade along the street, ensuring the place is safe and desirable for shoppers. They have been critical of the overcrowding and quality of shops and started to clamp down on abusive traders, who have then been refused licenses.

Several British retail chains regard their Oxford Street branch as the flagship store. Debenhams originally opened as Marshall & Snelgrove in 1870, and merged with Debenhams in 1919, which had opened on nearby Wigmore Street in 1778. The company was owned by Burton between 1985 and 1998. The London flagship store of the House of Fraser began as D H Evans in 1879, and moved to its current premises in 1935. It was the first department store in the UK to include escalators serving every floor. Selfridges, Oxford Street, the second-largest department store in the UK and flagship of the Selfridges chain, has been on Oxford Street since 1909.

Marks & Spencer has two stores on Oxford Street. The first, Marks & Spencer Marble Arch, is at the junction with Orchard Street. A second branch between Regent Street and Tottenham Court Road stands on the former site of the Pantheon.

The music retailer HMV was opened on No. 363 Oxford Street in 1921 by Sir Edward Elgar. The Beatles made their first recording in London in 1962, when they cut a 78rpm demo disc in the store. A larger store at No. 150 was opened in 1986 by Sir Bob Geldof, and was the largest music shop in the world at 60,000 square feet (6,000 m2). As well as music and video retail, the premises supported live gigs in the store. Due to financial difficulties, the store closed in 2014, with all retail moving to No. 363.

The 100 Club, in the basement of No. 100, has been running as a live music venue since 24 October 1942. It was thought to be safe from bombing threats due to its underground location, and played host to jazz musicians, including Glenn Miller. It was renamed the London Jazz Club in 1948, and subsequently the Humphrey Littleton Club after Littleton took over the lease in the 1950s. Louis Armstrong played at the venue during this time. It became a key venue for the trad jazz revival, hosting gigs by Chris Barber and Acker Bilk. It was renamed the 100 Club in 1964 after Roger Horton bought a stake in the venue, adding an alcohol licence for the first time. It became a key venue for British Rhythm and Blues including gigs by the Who, the Kinks and the Animals. It was an important venue for punk rock in the UK and hosted the first British punk festival on 21 September 1976, featuring the Sex Pistols, the Damned and the Buzzcocks.

The Tottenham is a Grade II* listed public house at No 6 Oxford Street, near to Tottenham Court Road. It was built in the mid 19th century and is the last remaining pub on the entire street, which once had 20.

The London College of Fashion has an Oxford Street campus, which is on John Prince's Street near Oxford Circus. The college is part of the University of the Arts London, formerly the London Institute.

The cosmetics retailer Lush opened a store in 2015 on Oxford Street. Measuring 9,300 square feet (860 m2) and containing three floors, it is their largest retail premises in the company.



London Black Cab in duty, Oxford Street, London

Transport links
Oxford Street is served by many major bus routes and by four tube stations of the London Underground. From Marble Arch eastwards, these stations are:

・Marble Arch, on the Central line

・Bond Street, on the Central line and Jubilee line

・Oxford Circus, on the Central line, Bakerloo line and Victoria line

・Tottenham Court Road, on the Central line and Northern line

The four stations serve an average of 100 million passengers every year, with Oxford Circus being the busiest.

Crossrail will have two stations serving Oxford Street, at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road. Each station will be "double-ended", with exits through the existing tube station and also some distance away: to the east of Bond Street, in Hanover Square near Oxford Circus; to the west of Tottenham Court Road, in Dean Street.

Traffic
Oxford Street has been ranked as the most important retail location in Britain and the busiest shopping street in Europe. In 2014, on average over 500,000 people visited the street every day. The footway can become congested both on the pavements, due to the large number of shoppers and tourists, most of whom arrive by one of the tube stations, and on the roadway as a result of the many buses routed along the street.

There is heavy competition between foot and bus traffic on Oxford Street, which is the main east-west bus corridor through Central London. Around 175,000 people get on or off a bus on Oxford Street every day, along with 43,000 further through passengers. Taxis are popular, particularly along the stretch between Oxford Circus and Selfridges. Between 2009 and 2012, there were 71 accidents involving traffic and pedestrians.

There have been several proposals to reduce congestion on Oxford Street. Horse-drawn vehicles were banned in 1931, and traffic signals were installed in the same year. To alleviate congestion and help traffic flow of buses, most of Oxford Street is designated a bus lane during peak daytime hours, where private vehicles are banned. It is only open to buses, taxis and two-wheeled vehicles between 7:00am and 7:00pm on all days except Sundays. The ban was first introduced as an experimental system in June 1972. It was considered a success, with an estimated revenue increase of £250,000. In 2009, a new diagonal crossing opened at Oxford Circus, allowing pedestrians to cross from one corner of Oxford Street to the other without having to cross the road twice. This doubles the pedestrian capacity at the junction.

Pollution
In 2014, it was reported that Oxford Street had the world's highest concentration of nitrogen dioxide pollution, at 135 micrograms per cubic metre of air (mcg/m3). However, this figure was an average that included night-time, when traffic was much lower. At peak times during the day, levels up to 463mcg were recorded – over 10 times the permitted EU maximum of 40mcg. Largely because of the diesel-engined traffic in the street (buses and taxis), annual average NO2 concentrations on Oxford Street are around 180 μg per cubic metre. This is 4.5 times the EU target of 40 μg per cubic metre (Council Directive 1999/30/EC).

London

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

London (Listeni/ˈlʌndən/) is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London's ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its 1.12-square-mile (2.9 km2) medieval boundaries and in 2011 had a resident population of 7,375, making it the smallest city in England. Since at least the 19th century, the term London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. The bulk of this conurbation forms the Greater London administrative area (coterminous with the London region), governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism, and transport all contributing to its prominence. It is one of the world's leading financial centres and has the fifth-or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world depending on measurement. London is a world cultural capital. It is the world's most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the world's largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic. London's 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times.


London has a diverse range of peoples and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken within Greater London. The region had an official population of 8,416,535 in 2013, the largest of any municipality in the European Union, and accounting for 12.5% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants according to the 2011 census.[32] The city's metropolitan area is the one of the most populous in Europe with 13,614,409 inhabitants,[note 4][33] while the Greater London Authority puts the population of London metropolitan region at 21 million. London was the world's most populous city from around 1831 to 1925.


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