Back on top. The BT tower is recognised throughout the UK, a truly iconic building gracing the London skyline. Built in 1964, it cost 2 million pounds to build 13,000 tonnes of concrete, steel and glass, remaining the tallest building in London until 1981.
But they’re turning it around. The tower has been revamped and interest is growing. The BIG BT bosses are to re-open the revolving restaurant on the 34th floor to the public, previously used for BT corporate events. Heston Blumenthal, Jamie Oliver and Gary Rhodes are among the names being touted to oversee the eatery.
The rotating floor takes 20 minutes for the diners to see a full 360 degree view of London, roughly ten minutes less than the London Eye. The restaurant is likely to seat between 60-70 people. Alongside the celebrity chef hunt, the BT Tower is now the host of the new 500ft-high Olympics countdown screen – Saturday marked the celebration of the 1000-day countdown until the London Olympic Games, with a fantastic explosion of fireworks. (Pictured below)
Once revived and revitalised for the 21st Century, the Top of the Tower restaurant is set to open its doors in Christmas 2011, so it can be fully functioning and ready for the London Olympic Games the following year.
The 620ft skyscraper, formerly known as the Post Office Tower, closed to the public in 1980 after an IRA bomb exploded in the lavatories amid security fears. Although one of the most recognised buildings in Britain, until recently was classed by law as an ‘official secret’, taking photos or being in possession of images of the BT/Post Office Tower was an offense under the ‘Official Secrets Act’. It was even omitted from all Ordnance Survey Maps until the mid 1990’s, but can now been found on all modern maps and Google. The London landmark is a grade two listed building, representing the strides in the telecommunications industry in the 1950s and 1960’s.
The question now is do you go to the London Eye and and pay to stand up for 30 minutes or choose to to have a meal in a restaurant, with a similar if not better view rotating every 20 minutes? Will the Top of the Tower restaurant return the BT Towers crown and glory once again?