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Bush House - US Presidents, possibly Bush House

Plaque: Bush House - US Presidents, possibly


{In the frieze below the statues' feet (annoyingly outside our photo)}:
To the friendship of English-speaking peoples

Our photos was taken during a 2018 exhibition 'The Classical Now' during which these two muscle-men came over all modest.

The 2 huge figures are Youth by Malvina Hoffman (American), 1919, to symbolise the friendship between Britain and USA, the "friendship of the English-speaking peoples". The inscription was appropriate for an Anglo-American trading centre but not for the BBC World Service which famously broadcasts in many languages.

On a visit to Bush House in 2008 we were told that the names of some US presidents are carved behind the figures high on the facade facing up Kingsway and there were photos displayed on the stairwell which supposedly showed the names being carved, but we have found no further evidence. Londonist even have a photo of the statues from behind (how do they get this access?) but no names are visible.Unless someone can help we will have to assume that we were given faulty information.

Site: Bush House (2 memorials)

WC2, Aldwych, Bush House

In our photo the blue plaque is immediately to the left of the left-most traffic lights.

The Bush House complex consists of this central building and a number of wings (at least 5). Built in the 1920s by American businessman, Irving T. Bush, it was designed in 1919 by Harvey W. Corbett, and conceived as a centre for international trade but also for sports, leisure, entertainment and cultural events. The whole complex was not completed until 1935.

The building was opened by Lord Balfour (ex-Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary) on 4 July 1925, American Independence Day. It was the home of BBC World Service from 1940 - 2012, when they moved to New Broadcasting House in Portland Place. Kings College London moved into Bush House in 2016.

To find out more about the spectacular statuary see Ornamental Passions where you will also find some great photos. The BBC page about this building is a good source, as is King's College.

Eagle Hut was on this site before Bush House. And before that? London's great guide, Peter Berthoud, has a page about this area before it was developed: early photos and a map showing the old higgledy-piggledy streets.

View this memorial on a map

This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Bush House - US Presidents, possibly

Information Also at this site

Bush House

BBC - Bush House International radio, television and online content made here...

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