Westminster Abbey – modified and unmodified

Again with the photos from last Wednesday, this time photoed soon after I had photoed The Broadway, and its coffins.

Proceed down Victoria Street from there, and you go past this place. If you are me, you notice:

This is one of those government departments which keeps having its name changed. That’s what it’s called for the time being. Not that I, or you, care very much. I’m just saying so you know what I’m talking about. “1VS” presumably means 1 Victoria Street.

Anyway, this Department of … whatever, has a fantastically over-elaborate glass and steel front entrance. There are two good things, along with all the obvious sneering, to be said about this front entrance. One, unlike with Big Lumps of the Concrete Monstrosity era of what you might call classic Modernism (which is pretty much what the rest of this building is), you can at least tell where the damn front entrance is. An elaborate front entrance is at least better than an infuriating guessing game.

And second, through the fantastically over-elaborate glass and steel roof of this entrance, you can photo photos like this, of Westminster Abbey:

This is a fine example of a modified cliché photo, which is a favourite sort of photo of mine. Cliché: Westminster Abbey, photoed millions of times. Modified: by being photoed through this roof, not photoed that way more than about a thousand times.

But, here’s a thought. What if you live in some terrible backwater like New York or San Francisco or Shanghai, and although there are lots of photos of Westminster Abbey that you could look at, you are so preoccupied with the details of your humdrum life that you seldom give them your attention. For the benefit of all such unfortunates, here is the unmodified cliché photo of Westminster Abbey that I photoed a little bit later:

God does not exist, but He still manages to occupy some of the best buildings.

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