Frank Matcham (1854-1920)

The architect Frank Matcham specialised in music halls and other places of public entertainment. His most familiar buildings in London are the Hippodrome (1899-1900) on Charing Cross Road, Hackney Empire (1900), and the London Coliseum Theatre (opened 1904). Also by him are the London Palladium (1910) in Argyll Street, and the Victoria Palace, facing Victoria Station. Outside London, among Matcham's many works are Blackpool Grand Theatre (1898), and the County Arcade in Leeds, noted on these pages. The nature of his commissions meant that there was ample scope for ornamentation, and he took full advantage of this, for example in the pinnacle statues of the Hippodrome and the Hackney Empire. Alas, I have not yet come across information on which sculptors were responsible for the often excellent sculptural work on his buildings.

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