White City, London

White City, London

infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
region= London
official_name= White City
london_borough= Hammersmith and Fulham
constituency_westminster= Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush
post_town= LONDON
postcode_district = W12
postcode_area= W
dial_code= 020
os_grid_reference= TQ233807

White City is a place in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, to the north of Shepherd's Bush. Today, White City is home to the BBC Television Centre and BBC White City, and Loftus Road stadium, the home of football club Queens Park Rangers FC.


The area now called White City was level arable farmfields until 1908, when it was used as the site of the Franco-British Exhibition and the 1908 Summer Olympics. In 1909 the exhibition site hosted the "Imperial International Exhibition" and in 1910, the Japan-British Exhibition. The final two exhibitions to be held there were the "Latin-British" (1912) and the "Anglo-American" (1914). During this period it was known as the "Great White City" due to the white marble cladding used on the exhibition pavilions, and hence gave its name to this part of Shepherd's Bush.

The White City Stadium in the north of the area, known as the Great Stadium, was officially opened by King Edward VII on April 27, 1908 for the Olympics. After the Olympics, it continued to be used for athletics until 1914, and was later turned into a greyhound racing track, although it was also used for short periods by Queens Park Rangers football club, and for other sports. The stadium was demolished in 1985 to make way for the BBC White City building. Today, the 1908 Olympics are commemorated with a list of athletes inscribed on the side of the BBC Broadcast Centre Building, and the athletics finish line is marked in the paving outside the building.

The Marathon from these London Olympics played an important part in the development of the modern marathon race. In the early years of competitive international sport, the long distance marathon race did not have a standard set distance. The distance run at the first seven Olympics from 1896 to 1920 varied between 40km and 42.75km. The starting point of the race at the 1908 Olympics was at Windsor Castle creating a distance of 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) to the finishing line at White City stadium. In 1921 this was adopted as the standard distance.

To house the growing population of Shepherd's Bush, a five-storey housing estate was built, which also took the name of the White City.

In 2001, BBC Television Centre was damaged by a car bomb attack by the Real IRA. The bomb went off on Wood Lane, in front of the Television Centre news building.

New development

Westfield Group (with Hausinvest Europa) is building a new shopping centre, bounded by the West Cross Route (A3220, formerly the M41 motorway), the Westway (A40) and Wood Lane (A219). This centre will be branded "Westfield London".

Two new stations will be built to serve the centre close to the sites of closed former London Underground stations. A new station, Wood Lane, will be built on the Hammersmith and City Line at the Wood Lane overbridge, between Shepherd's Bush Market and Latimer Road stations. This is located approximately where Wood Lane station was situated until it was closed in 1959 after a fire. The station will be positioned east of Wood Lane and north of the line, to minimise the walking distance for those connecting with the Central Line station at White City.

There will also be a new station opened at Shepherd's Bush, on the West London Line which lies to the east of the site and runs between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction. The station will be sited adjacent to the Holland Park roundabout close to the location of Uxbridge Road station (closed 1940) between Kensington (Olympia) and Willesden Junction, and will eventually provide services on the new London Overground system.

In 2007, it was announced that the BBC would sell its landmark Television Centre as part of a cost-cutting programme [cite news
title= BBC television centre may be sold for £300m
publisher=Daily Telegraph
] .

In 2008 English Heritage announced its recommendation to list parts of TV centre [cite news
title= “Auntie” honoured in recommendation to list parts of BBC television centre|publisher=English heritage
] as an excellent example of 20th century architecture.

Schools in the area include Phoenix High School.

Nearest places

* Wormwood Scrubs
* Notting Hill
* Kensal Green
* Bayswater
* North Kensington
*West Kensington
*Shepherd's Bush

Nearest tube stations

* Goldhawk Road tube station
* Latimer Road tube station
* Shepherd's Bush tube station
* Shepherd's Bush Market
* "Wood Lane (Hammersmith & City Line) tube station (under construction)"
* White City tube station
* East Acton tube station

Nearest railway stations

* "Shepherd's Bush railway station (under construction)"

In popular culture

Pete Townshend, of The Who and former resident of Shepherd's Bush, released a solo album entitled in November 1985 on Atco. The title refers to a story which accompanies the album and which takes place in the London area of White City.

The Pogues made a song about the stadium and its demolition, called "White City". It can be found on their 1989 album Peace and Love.

In the Westfield shopping centre area at White City, the grade II listed Dimco buildings (1898), now being redeveloped as a bus station, were used as the location for the ‘Acme Factory’ in the 1988 film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" cite web
title=Who Framed Roger Rabbit filming locations
author=The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations
] .



External links

* [http://westfield.com/london/ Official Site of White City Development]
* [http://thecowanreport.blogspot.com Cllr. Stephen Cowan (Lab) - Leader of the Opposition]
* [http://www.hammersmithandfulhamlabourparty.co.uk Local Labour Party]
* [http://www.alwaystouchout.com/project/24 Details of new transport infrastructure]
* [http://www.la21.org.uk/whitecity/ White City development from local youth group]

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