Keystone

ICI - 5 - Nobel

Inscription

Alfred Nobel

Site: Imperial Chemical House - 9 portrait keystones (10 memorials)

SW1, Millbank, 9, Imperial Chemical House

For an idea of what this area used to be like see this 1894ish map. It was all redeveloped following the 1928 flood. This block was designed by Sir Frank Baines and built in 1929-31 as HQ for Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd (ICI). Aka 'Nobel House' it is now, 2016, occupied by Ofgem, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. The frontage boasts 9 portrait keystones of chemists and ICI directors: Cavendish is on the Horseferry Road frontage, Mendeleeff on the junction corner, the other 7 are on the river side, left to right: Lavoisier, McGowan, Nobel, Alfred Mond (ICI), Ludwig Mond, Priestley, Liebig. Each 5th floor keystone decorates an integrated window arrangement with the identifying name on the 4th floor balcony. In his book on London statues Osbert Sitwell reports a journalist  writing that these "masks" are "four times life-size" but he also writes that they are "seven storeys above the ground" so we have to allow for some exaggeration.

On the 5th floor are four magnificent statues by Charles Sergeant Jagger. See A London Inheritance for photos. As well as these keystones Fagan did most of the other sculpture on the building, including the massive bronze entrance doors.

2017: We watched the 1947 film "Mine Own Executioner" which uses a few London locations. We recognised that of the last scene - a suicide at the top of a building - and thought it might be this one. But it's actually the MI5 building immediately to the south of Lambeth Bridge, Thames House, which was built by ICI at the same time as IC House and not used by MI5 until 1994.

There are two more portrait keystones on Nobel House, behind this building.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
ICI - 5 - Nobel

Subjects commemorated i

Alfred Nobel

Chemist, engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer.  Invented dynamite,...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
ICI - 5 - Nobel

Created by i

William Bateman Fagan

Born Bermondsey. Andrew Behan's researches have found that when he was baptis...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
ICI - 5 - Nobel

Also at this site i

Faraday on the ICI building entrance doors

Faraday on the ICI building entrance doors

These doors are in the centre of the river frontage of the building. Mapping...

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Nearby Memorials

Edward VI keystone

Edward VI keystone

EC4, New Bridge Street, 14

The original gatehouse together with the keystone form the entrance to the current building.

1 subject commemorated
Bennet Woodcroft keystone

Bennet Woodcroft keystone

WC2, Southampton Buildings, Old Patent Office

Damaged in WW2 this building was restored in 2007 to the original design for the facade overlooking Staple Inn garden, at least. We know ...

1 subject commemorated
ICI - 4 - McGowan

ICI - 4 - McGowan

SW1, Millbank, 9, Imperial Chemical House

For an idea of what this area used to be like see this 1894ish map. It was all redeveloped following the 1928 flood. This block was desig...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Carpenters' Hall - Vanbrugh

Carpenters' Hall - Vanbrugh

EC2, London Wall, 1 Throgmorton Avenue

The building projects over the pavement with an arched colonnade for pedestrians. On the keystone of each arch, at the ends and along the...

1 subject commemorated
ICI - 6 - Alfred Mond

ICI - 6 - Alfred Mond

SW1, Millbank, 9, Imperial Chemical House

For an idea of what this area used to be like see this 1894ish map. It was all redeveloped following the 1928 flood. This block was desig...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator