Canary Wharf is a large office and shopping development in east London, located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Rivalling London’s traditional financial centre, The Square Mile, Canary Wharf contains three of the UK’s tallest buildings: One Canada Square (commonly known as the Canary Wharf Tower, or even just Canary Wharf); 8 Canada Square and the Citigroup Centre.
Canary Wharf is built on the site of the West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs. From 1802, the area was one of the busiest docks in the world. By the 1950s, the port industry began to decline, leading to the docks closing by 1980.
Canary Wharf itself takes its name from No. 32 berth of the West Wood Quay of the Import Dock. This was built in 1936 for Fruit Lines Ltd, a subsidiary of Fred Olsen Lines for the Mediterranean and Canary Island (Insula Canaria (from canis) "Island of Dogs") fruit trade. At their request, the quay and warehouse were given the name Canary Wharf.
The Canary Wharf of today began when Michael von Clemm, former chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), came up with the idea to convert Canary Wharf into back office. Further discussions with G Ware Travelstead led to proposals for a new business district. The project was sold to Olympia & York and construction began in 1988. The first buildings were completed in 1991 which included One Canada Square that became the UK’s tallest building and a powerful symbol of the regeneration of Docklands. Upon opening, the London commercial property market had collapsed and Olympia and York Canary Wharf Limited filed for bankruptcy in May 1992.
Rebuilding the City of London – Canary Wharf
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