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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

4 - The Buildings and Finances

from Part I - Building and Consolidating (1883–1914)


This chapter discusses the problems caused by the inadequacy of the College’s first home, and the practical and symbolic significance that the College’s grand new building represented (given by Samson Fox and designed by Arthur Blomfield). The text discusses the process of securing the RCM’s site from the Commissioners for the 1851 Exhibition, and the architectural designs considered necessary for such a prominent site. Some of the main aspects of the building process are discussed, including the issues of soundproofing. Because of cost overrun, it was not possible to build a concert hall, and a temporary building was in use until finances permitted the College to build the present concert hall, which was inaugurated in 1901. The second part of the chapter looks at how the College was financed and the many prominent public figures who lent their names to the College governance and financial committees. The First World War effectively brought a suspension of College life, and the chapter concludes with a brief summary of some wartime activities.