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June 01, 2016, 03:29 PM

The story of Salvo and the Baltic Exchange

By Shirley Kay

Baltic Exchange pediment arriving at Salvo Fair, 2006 @ Salvo

Estonia - SalvoNEWS readers may remember the epic story in 2006 of London's Baltic Exchange, how it was bought by Derek Davies and his son Jason of the Architectural Forum, and how it was then sold via an advert on SalvoWEB. Some parts of the building also featured that year at the Salvo Fair. It fetched around 800,000 and was sold by the now defunct Extreme Architecture of Kent to two Estonian businessmen, Eerik-Niiles Kross and Heiti Haar, who shipped the 1,000 tonnes of carved stone and exotic marble to Tallinn where it was to be rebuilt as part of a prestige office and housing development.

Efforts to give new life to the Baltic Exchange building in Estonia and combine its facade with several new real estate developments were then thwarted by the 2008 recession. The facade fragments continued to lie in wait for almost a decade in shipping containers in the port of Paldiski.

Now, thanks to freelance journalist, Helen Wright, we have heard there is an exhibition of the fragments of the Baltic Exchange building at the Museum of Estonian Architecture. Visitors will be able to see the historic building's beautiful pediment in all its glory until 5th June 2016.

The neoclassical building designed by Smith and Wimble was completed in central London in 1903, and had been ranked among the most beautiful examples of Edwardian architecture. In fact it was subsequently to become a Grade II listed building. However, In 1992, the Exchange building was heavily damaged by an Irish Republican Army bomb attack. Originally, as it was the last remaining exchange floor in the City of London, conservationists wanted to reconstruct the building. It was dismantled stone by stone and the valuable parts were numbered and put in storage with the intention of restoring the building. Instead, maybe due to the outdated trading floor and the expense it was replaced by what has become a new landmark, the forty one storey office building, known as the Gherkin.

At the time it was the largest chunk of architectural salvage to be advertised for sale via the internet. SalvoWEB is the original architectural salvage online marketplace. Thornton Kay, senior partner of Salvo, started SalvoWEB long before eBay, and today it continues to be the leading website for architectural salvage attracting more visitors than any other website in this sector of the market; this includes interior designers, architects, builders and homeowners worldwide.

Salvo Fair, is the largest architectural salvage event, and is organised together with his daughter, Ruby Hazael. it is now held annually at Sir William and Lady McAlpine's estate, Fawley Hill, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Last years Salvo Fair featured another large iconic piece of salvage history, the original cast iron gothic balustrade from London's Westminster Bridge, from LASSCO, based in Oxfordshire and London.

Such large pieces of salvage often take time to find the right buyer especially if they are to be sold in one piece and not broken up. When the Baltic Exchange finally sold it had previously failed to be relocated by the combined forces of the City of London, Swiss Re, English Heritage and the UK conservation movement. At one stage it looked as if the fabulous marble would be turned into kitchen work surfaces, and the stone would be landfilled.

Look out for more interesting pieces of architectural salvage turning up at the Salvo Fair and come along to save a piece of history yourself; big or small. Plus any architectural salvage dealers with a large unique piece of salvage lying around in your yard or warehouse simply try out one of the free for sale ads on SalvoWEB. After all what have you got to lose? Or bring it along to the Salvo Fair.

The dates for your diary: Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th June, Trade Day: Friday 17th June.

Baltic Exchange tympanum resurfaces in Estonia gallery

Architectural Forum

SalvoNEWS: Baltic Exchange sells to Estonia via Salvo Fair and a SalvoWEB ad
Museum of Estonian Architecture: Baltic Exchange

Story Type:  News

ID: 95103

Date Modified: June 02, 2016, 11:16 PM

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