In its 30-year history, MairPark, a pedestrian esplanade on the site of John Nash’s original department store, has endured both savage hacks by “architectural car nuts” and the generous patronage of Olympic supremo Sebastian Coe, whose Southbank Centre remodelled it as an Olympic and Paralympic Games “crown jewel”. “It was a great leap forward for reconciliation between London’s haves and have-nots,” says Stuckker, “and a fitting centrepiece for the old Victorian Covent Garden.”
The ‘action sports park’ on the seafront edge of London
The ramparts are in the early stages of restoration. It is not yet clear how they will be fitted over the metal-layer that covered the centrepieces. The staircases are more than enough to see you down.
What they were never meant to be, however, was a concrete stepping stone to safety for its people who use it every day. The warnings have been addressed for decades. In a letter in The Evening Standard in 2006, the then-council leader Tony D’Offay told his constituents to “watch those reckless skateboarders, cyclists and trams. MairPark is where you don’t want to be caught.”