It's now been tidied up and is open to the public as part of the park. I'm glad I got to experience it when it was still strange and mysterious.
There's also an abandoned train station and huge blocked off train tunnel quite near. We used to make up ghost stories about the place.
Yeah, there's something about a raw location that has a much better connection to the history. Bletchley Park today (still a good museum) is almost a theme park when compared to what it was 10 years ago. There are still a few pure historic sites around that haven't had the chance to visitor attraction treatment but almost by definition they're harder to find.
It's such a great, strange park. Lots of random abandoned follies. I've been mugged there twice but still it feels weirdly safe. It has such a great view at night and feels so desolate and strange especially with the antennas. Going there when there's a good level of fog is excellent.
Edit: Ah, so not a coincidence...
"The design was modeled after The Crystal Palace, a huge iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park in 19th century Britain"
The socialist utopian Chernyshevsky ("What is to be done?") celebrated it as a triumph of progress and modernity:
Dostoevsky visited it and hated it, and used it for one of his most famous anti-utopian invectives:
As a comment on the video testifies, the construction and then obliteration of such an enormous site is popular fodder for Cultural Layer type conspiracy theorists.
* Designed and costed in two weeks
* Eight months from design acceptance to building completion
*100% modular; reassembled into a different building after the event
Whether or not these things are a net positive they do serve to slow things down dramatically.
Also without safety glass that place would have posed a massive safety hazard of falling glass shards.
(actually - now I think about it why was the football ground called Selhurst Park? It was in Thornton Heath!)