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|Location||London, England, UK map|
|Building Type||multifamily housing, mid-rise apartments|
|Discussion||Alexandra Road Housing Commentary
When I moved into Rowley Way in the Alexandra Road Estate some twenty-one years ago, the concrete was white and gleaming. At night the lighting cascaded up the stairways.
I recall opening my front door and taking a deep breath before walking up the road. I don't think many of us then would have imagined we would still be living here today, but many of us are. Our children are now young adults with some having children of their own.
Many people ask "Have things changed?" The answer is yes and no.
Life often seems more leisurely looking back we used to take our toddlers swimming in the little pool at the Shalev and Evans home (now demolished). It had an enclosed garden they all learnt to swim safely there.
Our children could play in the parks till the sun went down. Although nowadays the parks are beautiful and support much wildlife, visibility is much reduced because of the dense vegetation. I feel sad when I hear people saying, as I did the other day, that they are taking their children to Paddington Recreation ground to play when we have a public park on our own doorstep.
We don't have the problem here of not knowing our neighbours even if you haven't spoken to them, you still know them by sight. Privacy is impossible. The upside of this is good security and besides after a while you learn how to live so close to people.
You can always tell visitors because they hang over the balconies looking into the flats, whereas nobody who lives here does that.
Sometimes you bump into people you haven't seen for years, presumably because the place is so big. This is inevitably followed by the question, "Are you still living here?" and "Any plans to move?"
I asked this the other day, to be given the reply, "I've been thinking I rather like it here my flat and my balcony and hearing the birds sing in the morning it's easy for me to get to work why should I want to move?"
My own neighbours moved recently after eighteen years not far though, just up the road to a bigger flat I miss them.
I suppose if you asked me what I would wish most of all for Alexandra Road, it would be that everyone living here would want to live here that and swift attention to leaks.
I found it interesting that one of the flats bought by one of the previous tenants, under the "right to buy" scheme, had been subsequently bought by two young adults who had been brought up here as children.
I have to hand it to the caretakers here who keep the place tidy I think tight management would make everyone's a lot easier still no one underestimates the challenges managing such a large complex brings.
I've always loved the airy feel of my flat. I never could afford to do much to it, so it remains pretty much like it was when I first moved in.
When I think about Alexandra Road it seems it has taken on a life all of its own and there seems to be no stopping it.
It's an interesting place to live.
Elizabeth Knowles, resident