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Bush House

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The portico of Bush House

Bush House is a building between Aldwych and The Strand in London. It is primarily home to the BBC's World Service and bbc.co.uk New Media departments, which occupy 4 of the 5 wings. The fifth south-west wing is used by the Inland Revenue.

The different sections of the building were completed and opened over a period of 13 years:

  • 1923 - Centre Block
  • 1928 - North-West wing
  • 1929 - North-East wing
  • 1930 - South-East wing
  • 1935 - South-West wing

This quintessentially British building was commissioned, designed and originally owned by American individuals and companies. Irving T Bush gained approval for his plans for the building in 1919, which was planned as a major new trade centre and designed by American architect Harvey W Corbett.

The building's opening ceremony was performed by Lord Balfour on July 4, 1925 - America's Independence Day. It included the unveiling of two statues at the entrance made by American artist Malvina Hoffman. Built from Portland stone, Bush House was in 1929 declared the "most expensive building in the world", having cost around 2,000,000 ($10,000,000).

After a landmine damaged Broadcasting House on December 8 1940, the BBC's European Service moved into the south-east wing of the building; the rest of the Overseas Service followed in 1958.

The BBC's lease with Kato Kagaku (the Japanese company who own the building) expires in 2005, but has been extended until 2008. The BBC plans to move World Service to Broadcasting House, and the New Media department to the newly built Media Centre at the BBC Media Village in White City.

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