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Centenary celebrations at ICE

The ICE’s headquarters at One Great George Street is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the laying of the building’s foundation stone this week.

The foundation stone, laid on 25 October 1910 by then president James Charles Inglis, signified the beginning of the four-domed Edwardian building, and one of the first steel framed buildings to be built in London without the need for load-bearing external walls.

Prior to this, ICE was based in a smaller building across the road, however Government wanted to build a new Treasury on the site and so ICE was “invited to move” to the plot across the road.

Popular venue

The One Great George Street venue is a popular location for the film and TV industry, with a scene from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason taking place in the Great Hall and several episodes of TV series Spooks being filmed at the venue. London mayor Boris Johnson also recently selected the venue as a London media centre for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

When the building’s foundation stone was laid 100 years ago, a time capsule was embedded within a
recess in the stone and covered with a plaque.

The capsule contained a copy of that day’s The Times, the ICE’s Telford, Watt and Stephenson medals, the list of ICE members and the Institution’s by-laws.

Now 100 years on, to mark the centenary of the building, ICE President Paul Jowitt will unveil a commemorative plaque and a new time capsule which will hold amongst other items, a copy of Jowitt’s Presidential Address, a copy of the State of the Nation: Infrastructure 2010 report, and a sample card from the President’s apprentices international development toolkit. The capsule will be embedded in a stone opposite the foundation stone and covered with the new plaque.

ICE President Paul Jowitt said: “This is a very important anniversary for us all.”

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