London’s BT Tower Transformed into a Hotel

England27 Views

Once a towering icon on London’s skyline, the BT Tower has undergone a cool makeover, now serving as a hotel hotspot. The buzz around town is that this landmark, previously a hub for transmitting TV signals, has been revamped into a hotel following a whopping £275 million sale, according to the BBC on Monday (26/2/2024).

Back in 1965, when Prime Minister Harold Wilson cut the ribbon, this 177-meter tower was the talk of the town, used by TV stations to beam their signals far and wide. It even held the title of London’s tallest building for a good 16 years until the NatWest Tower came along in the City of London.

Formerly owned by BT Group, the tower has now passed hands to MCR Hotels, and the news has been met with cheers from the folks at the architectural heritage campaign group C20, crossing their fingers for the return of the legendary revolving restaurant.

Brent Mathews, BT’s property director, gave us the lowdown, saying the tower had been a big player in providing nationwide call, message, and TV signal services.

Originally known as the Post Office Tower, its communication clout gradually dwindled over time with the rise of new tech and mobile networks. They even ditched its microwave antennas a decade back, as they were just gathering dust and no longer needed to keep Londoners connected.

But here’s a twist in the plot: once upon a time, you could dine and spin at the tower’s revolving restaurant, managed by none other than Billy Butlin of Butlin’s Holiday Camps fame. It took a leisurely 22 minutes for a full rotation, and everyone was gaga over its breathtaking views of central London.

Unfortunately, the party came to an end when a bomb went kaboom on the 33rd floor in 1971, leading to the closure of the observation platform and beefed-up security.

Fast forward to 2003, and the building snagged Grade II listed status, even snagging second place in the “ugliest buildings in London” survey the same year.

But now, as the BT Tower turns a new leaf, Ben Wood, a tech analyst at CCS Insight, reckons it’s the end of an era.

“It’s been yonks since Joe Public got a peek inside the BT Tower, so there’s bound to be a stampede of folks itching to check out this iconic spot,” he quipped.

And guess what? They even opened the doors to a few lucky souls during the Open House Festival in London last September.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *