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Tower 42

Tower 42 is a 183 metres skyscraper in the City of London. It is the fifth-tallest in the fifteenth-tallest in Greater London, its original name was the National Westminster Tower, having been built to house NatWest's international headquarters. Seen from above, the shape of the tower resembles that of the NatWest logo; the tower, designed by Richard Seifert and engineered by Pell Frischmann, is located at 25 Old Broad Street in the ward of Cornhill. It was built by John Mowlem & Co between 1971 and 1980, first occupied in 1980, formally opened on 11 June 1981 by Queen Elizabeth II; the construction cost was £72 million. It is 183 metres high, which made it the tallest building in the United Kingdom until the topping out of One Canada Square at Canary Wharf in 1990, it was the tallest building. It held the status of tallest building in the City of London for 30 years, until it was surpassed by the Heron Tower in December 2009; the building today is multi-tenanted and comprises Grade A office space and restaurant facilities, with restaurants on the 24th and 42nd floors.

In 2011, it was bought by the South African businessman Nathan Kirsh for £282.5 million. The National Westminster Tower's status as the first skyscraper in the city was a coup for NatWest, but was controversial at the time, as it was a major departure from the previous restrictions on tall buildings in London; the original concept dates back to the early 1960s, predating the formation of the National Westminster Bank. The site was the headquarters of the National Provincial Bank, with offices in Old Broad Street backing onto its flagship branch at 15 Bishopsgate. Early designs envisaged a tower of 137 metres; the plan attracted opposition because of the unprecedented height of the design and because of the proposed demolition of the 19th-century bank building at 15 Bishopsgate, which dated from 1865 and was designed by architect John Gibson. Seifert, who had developed a reputation for overcoming planning objections, organised an exhibition in which he presented two alternative visions: his preferred design, a second design featuring a 500-foot tower with an "absurdly squat" second tower alongside.

Visitors overwhelmingly chose the single tower design. The final design preserved the tower's height was reduced to 183 metres. Demolition of the site commenced in 1970 and the tower was completed in 1980; the building was constructed by John Mowlem & Co around a huge concrete core from which the floors are cantilevered, giving it great strength but limiting the amount of office space available. In total, there are 47 levels above ground; the lowest cantilevered floor is in fact the fourth level above ground. The cantilevered floors are designed as three segments, or leaves, which correspond to the three chevrons of the NatWest logo when viewed in plan; the two lowest cantilevered levels are formed of a single "leaf". This pattern is repeated at the top, so that only levels 5 to 38 extend around the whole of the building; the limitations of the design were apparent—even though the building opened six years before the Big Bang, when there was a lesser requirement for large trading floors, the bank decided not to locate its foreign exchange and money market trading operation into the tower.

This unit remained in its existing location at 53 Threadneedle Street. Other international banking units, such as International Westminster Bank's London Branch and the Nostro Reconciliations Department remained at their locations due to lack of space in the tower. Innovative features in the design included double-decked elevators, which provide an express service between the ground/mezzanine levels and the sky lobbies at levels 23 and 24. Double-decked elevators and sky lobbies were both new to the UK at the time. Other innovative features included an internal automated "mail train" used for mail deliveries and document distribution; the tower had its own telephone exchange in one of the basement levels – this area was decorated with panoramic photographs of the London skyline, creating the illusion of being above ground. Fire suppression design features included pressurised stairwells, smoke venting and fire retardant floor barriers. However, at the time of design, fire sprinkler systems were not mandatory in the UK and so were not installed.

It was this omission, coupled with a fire in the tower during the 1996 refurbishment, that prompted the Greater London Council to amend its fire regulations and require sprinkler installations at all buildings. The cantilever is constructed to take advantage of the air rights granted to it and the neighbouring site whilst respecting the banking hall on that adjacent site, as only one building was allowed to be developed. For a time it was the tallest cantilever in the world. Following NatWest's refurbishment of the tower, the bank renamed it the International Finance Centre, in 1997; the building was subsequently acquired by Hermes Real Estate and BlackRock's UK property fund in 1998 for GB£226 million. In 2010 they put the property on the market at an expected price of GB£300 million; this would have been the largest sin

Siege of the British Residency in Kabul

The Siege of the British Residency in Kabul was a military engagement of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The British resident, Sir Louis Cavagnari and his escort were massacred after an 8-hour siege by mutinous Afghan troops inside their Residency in Kabul; this event triggered the second phase of the war, during which an Anglo-Indian army invaded Afghanistan and captured Kabul. During the first phase of the Second Anglo-Afghan War, British troops invaded Afghanistan, forced the Amir Sher Ali Khan to flee, he was replaced by his son Mohammad Yaqub Khan, who sued for peace. The resulting Treaty of Gandamak satisfied most British demands, including the annexation of several frontier districts, the dispatch of a British envoy to Kabul to supervise Afghan foreign relations; the political officer selected for this task was Sir Pierre Louis Napoleon Cavagnari, the son of an Italian aristocrat who had served for several years in the British colonial administration, in particular as District Commissioner of Peshawar.

Despite his experience of the region and his qualities as a diplomat, Cavagnari's appointment was viewed with some misgivings by British observers who knew his arrogant manners. General Neville Chamberlain said of him that he was:...more the man for facing an emergency than one to entrust with a position requiring delicacy and calm judgement... If he were left at Cabul as our agent I should fear his not keeping us out of difficulties. In addition, as the principal negotiator of the humiliating treaty of Gandamak, Cavagnari was hated by the Afghan populace. Despite this, he was chosen by the Governor-General Lord Lytton, who appreciated him; the envoy arrived in Kabul on July 24, 1879, with his assistant, a surgeon, an escort of 75 soldiers of the elite Queen's Own Corps of Guides led by Lieutenant Walter Hamilton VC. The escort was kept small. In Kabul, the delegation occupied a compound inside the Bala Hissar fortress, 250 yards from the Amir's quarters. Throughout the summer, the situation remained calm, Cavagnari's messages to Simla remained confident.

In August, the situation began to deteriorate with the arrival of six Afghan army regiments from Herat, who marched into the Bala Hissar demanding two months of arrears in back-pay. They mocked their colleagues of the Kabul regiments, beaten by the British, demanded to be led against the residency, but the Amir's officers managed to pacify them with the payment of some of the arrears. Cavagnari was warned of the danger by a retired Rissaldar-Major of the Guides, but he answered "Never fear. Keep up your heart, dogs that bark don't bite!" The Rissaldar insisted: "But these dogs do bite. Sahib, the residency is in great danger!", to which Cavagnari answered: "They can only kill the three or four of us here, our deaths will be avenged". On September 2 he telegraphed his last message to Lord Lytton: "All is well in the Kabul Embassy." In the morning of September 3, the Herati regiments gathered once more inside the Bala Hissar, demanding their pay, but due to Tax revenues not having been collected, only one month's pay was offered to them.

At this point someone suggested that the British had gold in their Residency, the mutinous soldiers went to ask Cavagnari to pay their salaries. When confronted with these demands, the envoy refused to pay, claiming that the matter was of no concern to the British government. A scuffle ensued, several shots were fired by the British troops; the Afghan soldiers returned to their cantonment to fetch their weapons, while Cavagnari prepared the compound as best he could, sent a plea for help to the Amir. Within the hour, 2,000 Afghan soldiers returned and invaded the Residency, which proved impossible to defend, it was surrounded on three sides by taller houses, enabling the Herati troops to gain advantageous firing positions from which they opened a heavy fire that wiped out the defenders. Cavagnari was the first casualty of the attack, being hit in the head by a musket ball, but he was still able to lead a bayonet charge and drive the Afghans out of the compound, after which he withdrew inside the buildings and died of his wounds.

The defense was taken over by Lieutenant Hamilton. This time the Amir sent his young son and a Mullah to try and pacify the mutineers, but their party was pelted with stones and forced to retreat. By midday, the main building of the Residency was on fire, only 30 Guides and three British officers were fit enough to keep fighting. A last messenger was dispatched to the Amir; the Afghans brought two cannons to the Residency, started firing point-blank at the building. Hamilton led his remaining men in a charge that captured one gun, but they were driven back by Afghan fire that killed the surgeon and six sepoys. Hamilton urged his men to charge the guns once more but Jenkyns, Cavagnari's assistant, was killed, the defenders were driven back; as the main building was on fire and collapsing and the 20 surviving sepoys took refuge in the brick bathhouse of the residency. Hamilton led another charge on the Afghan guns, this time three sepoys managed to hitch their belts onto one of the gun carriages.

After a moment's hesitation, the Herati soldiers charged the small party of Guides. Hamilton faced the oncoming Afghan wave, emptied his revolver into them before being overwhelmed and killed, his stand allowed his 5 surviving men. As all the British officers were now dead, the Afghans offered the Moslem soldiers the chance to surrender, but their offer was refused by the Guides, now led by Jemada

Lamplighter Stakes

The Lamplighter Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually during the last week of May at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey. Open to three-year-old horses, it is contested on turf over a distance of ​1 1⁄16 miles. Inaugurated in 1946 as the Lamplighter Handicap, the race was named to honor Lamplighter, the 1893 American Co-Champion Older Male Horse owned by proment horseman Pierre Lorillard IV, an co-owner of the Monmouth Park Association's racetrack. Since inception, the race has been contested at various distances on both dirt and turf: ​1 1⁄16 miles on dirt: 1946-1970, 1972, 1974, 1984,1987 ​1 1⁄8 miles on turf: 1971 ​1 1⁄16 miles on turf: 1973, 1975–1983, 1985–1986, 1988–2004, 2007–present 1 mile on turf: 2005, 2006On July 1, 1978 the legendary U. S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, John Henry, made his turf stakes debut with a third-place finish in the second division of the Lamplighter. Speed record: 1:40.52 - Lendell Ray Most wins by an owner: 2 - George D. Widener Jr. 2 - James Cox Brady Jr. 2 - Calumet Farm Most wins by a jockey: 5 - Craig Perret Most wins by a trainer: 4 - William I.

Mott The 2008 Lamplighter Stakers at Oceanport Racing Report