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Imperial Institute Building: Raking view of the facade
The Imperial Institute, as it was first known, was established in 1887 (Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee) to promote research which would benefit the Empire. Initially this was strongly biased towards scientific research that supported the industrial and commercial development of the dominions and colonies. The Imperial Institute was located in a building on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, designed by T.E. Collcutt in a Hispano-Renaissance style with strong Moorish motifs and built by John Mowlem & Co from 1887-1894. The 287-foot tower, Queen's Tower, is now the last remaining part of the Imperial Institute; the remainder was demolished beginning 1957 to make way for Imperial College. The tower itself would have been demolished along with the rest of the Institute, had it not been for a campaign led by the then Poet Laureate, and supporter of 19th century architecture, John Betjeman. In 1966, the tower was repaired to enable it to stand on its own as a bell tower.