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Horniman Gardens - Proposed changes to the Gardens


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Please, please, please take the time to read the proposals and respond.


What has been proposed by the consultants employed by the Trustees which the Chief Executive is responsible for implementing, will radically change Hornimans Gardens as we currently know it If the plans are agreed.


YOU have UNTIL 22nd JULY 2019 to provide YOUR feedback.

You can read more about these plans online or via a display in the Museum -

https://horniman.ac.uk/get_involved/news/a-future-framework-for-the-horniman


It is VITALLY important that you give your feedback because if we don't the Gardens will be changed out of all recognition and I fear they will no longer be a place of peace, tranquillity and sanctuary between London Road, Westwood Park and Horniman Drive for both locals and visitors to the museum and Gardens.


The museum and Gardens say that they would love to hear your ideas at this initial stage of development ?


Please share your comments on the Feedback Board the next time you are in the Museum or by emailing [email protected] before Monday 22 July 2019.


Have your say, tell the museum and Gardens what your thoughts and views are, if you agree or disagree.


I fear the entire Gardens will turn into some sort of building site while the works are done and resemble a theme park, where it's all about making money. The Gardens were NEVER designed for this.


The fundemental changes are at:

https://horniman.ac.uk/get_involved/news/a-future-framework-for-the-horniman


1. New Garden Arrival Square

2. Spacious Reception with Improved Facilities

3. Reorganised and Reimagined Museum Spaces

4. Nature Zone and Kindercaf?

5. Stepping Gardens

6. Horticultural Hub and Winter Garden

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Just had a quick look and it certainly appears there'll be a lot of building work and a loss of garden space. The museum is already no-go area for adults and with the proposed Kinder area, the park will be a children's playground to match.
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First of all, the development plans were included in the last members newsletter. I know this because I'm a longstanding member myself and I read it with interest.


Second, as they point out themselves, the entire estate is Grade II or II* listed so their intentions will automatically receive massive scrutiny and oversight.


The museum has been there over 120 years and I agree wholeheartedly with the identified shortcomings of the current structure and layout. Whatever the original design and how the gardens may or may not have been intended to be used back then is close to irrelevant for the present day. That there may be extensive building work over a long period is never accepted as a reason to object in itself. What matters is the end result.


I personally think that, on first reading, some of the plans are very sympathetic and yet innovative and energising to an massively popular local attraction that needs to evolve and serve a wide demographic way beyond that of decades ago.


An institution of this kind must necessarily keep pace with the times and I congratulate them on their plans which I think the farsighted, groundbreaking founder would have endorsed without reservation.

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@ dbboy Thanks for posting. I?ll check out the details.


As Worldwiser says they need to adapt to current times and it must be harder and harder to attract and keep people , especially children and although I avoid places when they?ll be busy with children if I can they do need to learn so there is a balance to be achieved, but at least there is the opportunity to review the plans and comment.

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In reading the report - and I've no reason to doubt the accuracy of the figures - the Horniman was most recently re-designed to meet the needs of 250k visitors and is handling now close to 1 million. Clearly this cannot continue long-term without unnecessary levels of location stress. The grass-roofed building is also close to or at the end of its design-life. Many of the comments in the report are not unreasonable - the 'front' entrance isn't well flagged for those who don't know it. I personally like the slightly fusty atmosphere of the natural History exhibits - but I recognise that these are outdated in terms of modern museum curation. The former 'pond' area is woefully under-utilised. Of course any work will cause disruption - at least short term - and I am sure some changes will make some people unhappy (I was sad when the little garden and stream was lost running up to the main building in the last re-furb) - but I do strongly advise against resisting change just because it is change - or resenting the truth that more people, drawn from a wider demographic, are using the Horniman. It was designed for the people of London to be used, and if the people, and their needs, change, so should the Horniman. It is now nothing like the museum my late mother - born 100 years ago - used to visit - she loved it in her day, my grown-up children loved a different it when they were young and I am sure my grandchildren will enjoy a new version. And they wouldn't have enjoyed (so much) the versions my mother, I and my children all enjoyed.
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worldwiser Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> First of all, the development plans were included

> in the last members newsletter. I know this

> because I'm a longstanding member myself and I

> read it with interest.

>

> Second, as they point out themselves, the entire

> estate is Grade II or II* listed so their

> intentions will automatically receive massive

> scrutiny and oversight.

>

> The museum has been there over 120 years and I

> agree wholeheartedly with the identified

> shortcomings of the current structure and layout.

> Whatever the original design and how the gardens

> may or may not have been intended to be used back

> then is close to irrelevant for the present day.

> That there may be extensive building work over a

> long period is never accepted as a reason to

> object in itself. What matters is the end result.

>

>

> I personally think that, on first reading, some of

> the plans are very sympathetic and yet innovative

> and energising to an massively popular local

> attraction that needs to evolve and serve a wide

> demographic way beyond that of decades ago.

>

> An institution of this kind must necessarily keep

> pace with the times and I congratulate them on

> their plans which I think the farsighted,

> groundbreaking founder would have endorsed without

> reservation.


that's a good, measured post

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Looks like there are some excellent ideas in there, especially putting the ugly old boating pond to good use, which should also have the benefit of luring a lot of the local parents with little ones away from the museum. I like this line "demographic changes locally have contributed to a decrease in visitor diversity", which I assume is a polite way of saying the place is overrun with the mumsnet crowd...?
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fishbiscuits Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> Lynne Wrote:

> --------------------------------------------------

> -----

> > The museum is already no-go area for adults

>

> Why is it a no-go area? Maybe it is if you are

> unable to tolerate children... but then surely the

> same goes for most museums, and parks too.



Yes, weird.


We go to the museum (and other museums) both with and without the grandchildren in tow. I've never found other people's kids interfered with my enjoyment of the Horniman. Quite the opposite usually, I like watching children's reactions to things.


I must admit however that I had no wish whatsoever to go to the Lego thing, and only went under sufferance, having no interest at all in giant Lego models, or indeed any Lego models (though the video of how they were built was quite interesting :)) )


The grandkids, however, were riveted. But I digress, which is not allowed. Sorry :))

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Perhaps I'm unusually intolerant of screaming, banging on the glass in the aquarium and grabbing at the butterflies. But last time I went to look at the beautiful display of musical instrument and listen to the recordings, there were children running up and down, thumping on the musical tables and then a couple on mothers sat on the tables to eat their lunch. Meanwhile a friend in the butterfly house said the children were trying to catch the butterflies in their hands while the staff just stood and watched.

If they want to increase the diversity of visitors they might remember that not everyone has a child with them. Alternatively, drop the word Museum from the title and just be honest and call it Horniman Play Centre.

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The museum is quite family-oriented, I wouldn't argue with that. That doesn't make it a "play centre" or a "no-go area", though. It just sounds like you're just not comfortable in that sort of environment.


I've been there quite a lot (both pre and post kids) and I would suggest that your accounts are either isolated incidents, or exaggerated.

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Seems that those that have posted so far are in favour of the changes.


When the Gardens change out of all recognition from the current place of peace, tranquillity and sanctuary between London Road, Westwood Park and Horniman Drive that they are, and are turned into a number of attractions don't come back and complain when this piece of greenery is altered forever.

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dbboy Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> When the Gardens change out of all recognition

> from the current place of peace, tranquillity and

> sanctuary


which of the changes proposed do you think would have this effect?


or is it just increased visitor numbers?

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'When the Gardens change out of all recognition from the current place of peace, tranquillity and sanctuary between London Road, Westwood Park and Horniman Drive that they are, and are turned into a number of attractions don't come back and complain when this piece of greenery is altered forever.'


I've looked at the plans and cannot see what you think is going to happen. The old boating pond is already used for football games and as a result that area is already full of kids and not the most peaceful part of the park. I don't see any problem giving the people who already use it some extra facilities.


Other than that, the garden by the conservatory is a bit of an odd space at the moment and I can't see that putting a path down that hillside is going to ruin anything currently wonderful. Nor can I see how enlarging an existing toilet block, giving the public access to the existing greenhouse area or planting some plants that flower in winter is going to destroy peace and tranquility. If anything having a kinder cafe as well as a normal cafe for grown ups is going to increase the peace and tranquility for those curmudgeons who wish the kids would shut up.

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