Harry Mount

Set In Stone?

The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories

By

Portobello Books 388pp £25 order from our bookshop

Not long before he died, Sir Christopher Wren took a stroll down to the City to see how St Paul’s was getting along. Turning the corner of Cheapside, he looked up at his masterpiece, and wept. Contrary to his design, a balustrade had been installed along the parapet of the cathedral; an utterly useless balustrade because no one would ever walk up there to admire it or need it to stop themselves falling off the roof.

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