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Criterion Theatre

Thomas Verity

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Important events

(detail)1874 | Year of building

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History

Thomas Verity was one of the first English architects to design in an authentic French manner. His Criterion (1870-3), a commission he won in competition, had a magnificent, expensively built French Renaissance facade typical of Second Empire Paris. The entire conception of a restaurant and theatre built completely underground heralded a new era of pomp and good living. However, in practical terms the theatre was stuffy and cramped, despite the air pumped down into it; it was rebuilt in 1884 and since then has remained basically intact. Between 1876 and 1880, an addition to the original building was constructed before the creation of Piccadilly Circus in 1885.

 

In:  Glasstone, Victor: Victorian and Edwardian Theatres: An Architectural and Social Survey. Harvard 1975 p. 66

 

 

Author: Victor Glasstone

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