Earls Court was a waste ground for years. With the introduction of two stations, it became a mass network of railways on derelict grounds. The idea of bringing entertainment to the grounds was brought up by entrepreneur, John Robinson Whitley, who used the land as a show ground. Good fortune was not with Whitley, he did not make a single penny from his efforts. Whitley's desire had decided the future of Earls Court and its purpose in later years. In 1935 the land was sold; the new owners decided to construct a show center to rival any other in the world and to dominate "The Village Hall" up the road, affectionately known as 'Olympia' by the management. The plan was to create Europe's largest structure by volume. The project did not go exactly to plan; it ran over budget and was late in completion. Earls Court finally opened its door to the public for the chocolate and confectionery exhibition in September 1937. A Motor Show and Commercial Vehicle show soon followed.
Despite problems in construction, the project was still completed in time. At a cost of 1.5 million pounds, it was a marvel of architectural feat, and it still is today. In response to the need to increase Earls Court's exhibition space, Earls Court Two was constructed. The striking new barrel-roofed hall links Earls Court One by folding shutters in large enough to hold four jumbo jets and is entirely column-free. The hall was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales on 17 October 1991.
Address: Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London SW5 9TA, United Kingdom
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