No, Paddington Bear is certainly NOT going through a bad phase.
This is about the real Paddington, that ‘depressing,’ ‘lifeless’ place developers such as Renzo Piano claim needs livening up.
Fact #1 Paddington once had a lively town centre, with shops, cinemas, restuarants, and a famous theatre.
Fact #2 The A40 Westway was sent right through the heart of Paddington. Its lively heart was ripped out for the sake of a motorway and an ugly flyover. Barely any bits remain – save for the pleasant green and historic church that now has a thunderous motorway along one side.
Fact #3 These new developments are everywhere. They do not give Paddington an unique identity but make it worse. Let’s take an example – Paddington Basin. Developers have reduced the size of the water space and ruined the real potential this space could have given. Further, they do not want it to be known as Paddington Basin but Merchant Square.
Fact #4 Paddington has managed to survive these ravages. But it needs a cohesive plan, not huge dollops of facetious development randomly plonked here and there.
Yes Paddington Basin (the so-called Merchant Square) is unfortunately a dump just as is Paddington Central (including Sheldon Square) and that damn ugly 1960’s A40(M) Westway. They’re all destroying the area’s character.
Do I need say more? Nope. The article shewn below from the West End Extra says it all really.