In May 1884, the National Agricultural Company was formed with the aim of building the country's largest covered show centre. The hall was to allow major agricultural events to be held right in the middle of London. The architect for this idea was a man called Henry E. Coe. He was the same person who had designed the Business Design Centre. You can actually view the similarities between the two buildings, both have striking barrel roofs. Work began on Olympia in July of 1885. The plan was for the construction to take place on the four-acre site with a cost of £131,573. It would cost just about that to refurbish a single toilet suite at the venue today. Finally on 27th December 1886 Olympia opened its doors to the Hippodrome Circus.
Although the venue was sold and resold on a number of occasions, its popularity led to many extensions. The first, a small annex called the Pillar Hall, was added in 1896 and in 1923 there was the construction of the New Hall, which we now know as the National hall. Six years later we saw the opening of the Empire hall, later re-named Olympia Two. In 1959 Olympia's Grand Hall has an extension named the West Hall. The Olympia Conference Centre was incorporated into level three of Olympia Two in 1987.
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