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BT Group has agreed the sale of the BT Tower for £275m to MCR Hotels, who plan to preserve the tower as an iconic hotel, securing its place as a London landmark for the future.

The American hotelier own around 150 hotels, including the historic landmark Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Hotel in New York City. The company has teamed up with UK architecture firm Heatherwick Studio on BT Tower’s redesign.

A staple of London's skyline

The 177-metre structure, originally called the Post Office Tower, was completed in 1964 and was London’s tallest building until 1980. As well as acting as a hub for the UK’s communication networks, the once-modernist masterpiece was open to the public until 1971, with a restaurant making use of the revolving top floor.

It was the city’s coolest place to dine for 25 years. The novelty of eating a meal as the panoramic views of London changed around you attracted stars from The Beatles to Muhammad Ali.

Fancy a spin?

Situated on the 34th floor of the iconic structure, the Top of the Tower restaurant would turn round completely every 23 minutes, giving diners incredible 360 degree views of the city. You could even sit on the terrace on the 35th floor – at the top of what was then the tallest building in London – with a cocktail before dinner.

The restaurant was closed for security reasons in 1971. Since then the building was let out for charity events, but public access is limited. Last year Travel with Style was lucky enough to visit BT Tower as part of the Open House Festival.

En-route to transformation

Brent Mathews, Property Director, BT Group said: “The BT Tower sits at the heart of London and we’ve been immensely proud to be the owners of this important landmark since 1984. It’s played a vital role in carrying the nation’s calls, messages and TV signals, but increasingly we’re delivering content and communication via other means. This deal with MCR will enable BT Tower to take on a new purpose, preserving this iconic building for decades to come.”

Tyler Morse, CEO and owner of MCR Hotels, said: “We are proud to preserve this beloved building and will work to develop proposals to tell its story as an iconic hotel, opening its doors for generations to enjoy.”

However, travellers shouldn’t plan on making reservations just yet. The hotel firm said it will “take a number of years” for BT to move out due to the complex equipment on site.

Image credits: © BT