The Marble Arch Mound has been hit by a wave of visitors keen to see how bad the attraction is.
The ephemeral £ 6million hill has received a lot of criticism and has been ridiculed for being a 25-meter-high ‘slag heap’ and dubbed ‘London’s worst tourist attraction’.
But now Londoners and tourists alike are heading to the center of the capital to see if the mound is as horrific as critics say it is.
The temporary structure was freed for climbing in August after it had to close on July 28 when dead plants fell to the side.
Westminster City Council closed the mound two days after it opened, saying it was experiencing “teething problems”.
Two weeks later, Deputy Head of Westminster City Council Melvyn Caplan resigned after it was revealed the mound would cost three times its original £ 2million budget.
The controversy surrounding the mound has now led to a wave of curious visitors determined to make up their own minds.
Eloise and Gareth Collins decided to take a trip to Marble Arch Mound as part of a visit to the West End from Yorkshire.
The couple explained that they were encouraged to come visit them after hearing about Melvyn Caplan’s resignation.
Eloise said, “I heard people on the radio say it was a bit bad. It’s free now, so we booked tickets this morning.
Gareth was pleasantly surprised by the attraction. He said: “I liked going out of town. It was an interesting attraction. If you look through it, it’s a little scary.
The two men agreed that the suggested prices for the £ 4.50 to £ 8 tickets were too expensive.
Georgie Hay was taken to see the mound by a friend from Northumbria.
The Croydon resident wanted to see if the mound lived up to his expectations.
She said: “I had heard about it and read about it on the news. I was quite disappointed when I heard that they were considering removing it.
“I think it gives a very good view of this region. There is nowhere else where you can get a bird’s eye view. They must have something else at the top, however. “
But not all visitors were convinced by the structure. Martha Blowey and Max Becker were both very disappointed with their climb up the mound.
Martha said, “I knew it was being built. I saw something happen while visiting Oxford Street. I thought this could be a really classy person living at the top.
“It’s like a BTEC Effiel tower.”
Max added: “It was disappointing at the top. You just see construction work and it’s noisy.
Martha and Max agreed that they would not pay to go up the mound.
Council chief Rachael Robathan said in a statement Thursday (Aug. 12) that her deputy, Mr Caplan, resigned with immediate effect after a “totally unacceptable” increase in costs.
“The mound opened too early and we apologized for that,” Ms Robathan said. “It has become clear that the costs have increased more than expected and this is totally unacceptable.
“Our planned initial cost was £ 3.3million. Total costs now stand at £ 6million, covering all aspects of the project: construction, operation and eventual removal. “
The mound, designed by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, was designed to offer views of Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Mayfair and Marylebone in the capital.
It is part of the £ 150million redevelopment of Oxford Street and is designed to increase footfall in the shopping district as lockdown restrictions loosen.
The Marble Arch Mound will be chargeable again at the beginning of September.