HC Deb 04 June 1896 vol 41 c423

I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works in what year the first plans and elevations were prepared, and by whom, for the completion of the frontage of the South Kensington Museum; how many plans and elevations have since been made, and by whom and when; what is the total sum of money that has been spent on plans and elevations that have never been carried out; and, whether it is a fact that a large sum was paid to the widow of a deceased preparer of plans and elevations; and, if so, what was the amount actually paid, and what has become of the above plans?


I believe that plans were originally designed for the frontage of the South Kensington Museum many years ago by General Scott, a salaried officer of the Department, and his assistants. Sketch plans were subsequently prepared in 1883 by the Principal Surveyor of the Office of Works. In 1891 competitive designs were called for, and those of Mr. Aston Webb selected; and it was in regard to these plans that a special payment of £1,315 was made to Mr. Aston Webb and a sum amounting to 2,500 guineas to the other competitors and to the architect who acted as assesssor. The plans prepared by General Scott, by the Board's Surveyor, and by Mr. Aston Webb are the property of the Office of Works. The model prepared by General Scott is at the South Kensington Museum. No sum was paid to the widow of any architect by the Office of Works.