This just in from ArtsBeat: The British government has granted Abbey Road Studios protected status as a historic building. What exactly does that mean?
“The new listing status will ensure that, although changes to the interior are not prohibited, care must be taken to ensure that any alterations with respect to its character and interest are fully considered,” explained Culture Minister Margaret Hodge in an official statement. “The Abbey Road Studios have been listed in acknowledgment of their outstanding cultural interest and to ensure that recording artists for generations to come can continue to make and record music in the same rooms as musical icons of years gone by.”
While this won’t prevent EMI from putting the building up for sale (wethinks the label doth protest too much), it will ensure that they don’t inadvertently throw the world-famous venue under the bus just to make a few bucks.
Not that it sounds like potential developers would have much to work with, anyway:
“Listing status can be conferred either through its architectural or historic merit. Number 3 Abbey Road itself is an 1830s villa, whose interior was completely transformed by the decision to turn the building into a purpose-built recording studio, combining performance space and technical facilities to enable the recording of the performances. This means that listing status has been granted overwhelmingly on the historic merit of the studios.”
Ha. Studio Two is the space made famous by its association with The Beatles; it’s where the band recorded about 90% of their material, including their final album, Abbey Road. Below we’ve rounded up some vintage, Beatles-filled images of the space for you to peruse — proof that while the building might not be much to look at, its is historic status is based on much more than an iconic crossing, thank you very much.