Change of ownership, 1951
On the 1st August 1951 the Crystal Palace Trust was dissolved and responsibility for Crystal Palace Park passed into the hands of the London County Council and eventually to the Greater London Council. Much work was done by LCC/GLC staff in the Park to maintain the terraces, subway, and dinosaurs. The only really tangible large scale developments in the Park since 1936 have been the construction of the television aerial at the northern end of Crystal Palace Parade and the National Sports Centre in the heart of the Park; both of these were built in the late 1950's. The site of the Crystal Palace has always given great cause for concern with no organisation or individual coming up with any really viable ideas about what to do with it. Upon the demise of the GLC on 1st April 1986 the London Residuary Body passed responsibility for the Park to the London Borough of Bromley.
Since 1986 Bromley Council has received a number of planning applications for a building on the site. The 1990 Crystal Palace Act governs the style of any proposed building, which should reflect that of the original (i.e. 1854) building. Designs thus far have ranged from a pastiche of the original to what many have regarded as something akin to an airport terminal. Their proposed contents have ranged from a four-star hotel to a 20-screen multiplex cinema.
The London Development Agency, an arm of the Greater London Authority, has since taken a lease on the National Sports Centre, which may be extended to the rest of the Park. In 2008 its Masterplan for the whole Park became the basis of a planning application, which was first granted consent and then made the subject of a public inquiry.
Whatever the future of the Park, the words uttered in 1936 by the Director of the Crystal Palace, Sir Henry Buckland, after the building had been consumed by fire, will resonate forever - "There will never be another."
It was in July 1979 that a group of enthusiasts came together to form the Crystal Palace Foundation dedicated to preserving the history of the Crystal Palace. One of their prime aims was to create a museum on the site and this was achieved in 1990 when the Crystal Palace Museum was opened on Anerley Hill.
Copyright Crystal Palace Foundation 2012
Compiled By Melvyn Harrison, Chairman