I’m a great believer in recycling, reusing and re-purposing. Add in how much I love architecture, and you can imagine how happy I am when I see old buildings serving a new purpose.

The original purpose is not always obvious, but sometimes there are strong clues. Here are some buildings I noticed on our recent trip to England. Everybody loves other peoples’ vacation photos, right?

pizza-express-dairy-supply-companyThis Pizza Express was at one time the Dairy Supply Company. Love those windows. By the way, I’m pretty sure that in London you can’t go more than two or three blocks without running into another Pizza Express. I believe this one was near Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club. It’s good that they’re easy to find, because they have pretty good food.

the-comedy-pub-piccadillys-no-7-piano-barThe Comedy Pub at one point was Piccadilly’s No 7 Piano Bar.

the-old-lifeboat-house-bistroThe Old Lifeboat House Bistro in Penzance was actually the building that housed the town’s lifeboat from 1884 until 1917.  Improvements in lifeboat technology allowed Cornwall to have fewer lifeboats and still be more efficient, so the Penzance lifeboat was moved to another town. The steak I had here was amazing, rivaled only by the steaks my brother-in-law Wayne has barbecued for me.

chapel-rock-cafeThe Chapel Rock Cafe in Marazion in Cornwall, just across the beach from St. Michael’s Mount. I don’t know what it used to be, but it’s a great building. And as the sign says, they have Fresh Newlyn Crab, which my daughter said was delicious.

yha-london-st-pauls-hostelThis is YHA (Youth Hostel Association) London St. Paul’s, which is right around the corner from St. Paul’s Cathedral. The window in our room perfectly framed the cathedral’s dome. From 1875 until the 1960s, this building was the choirboys’ school for St. Paul’s.

Recycled buildings are everywhere, we just have to pay attention to what we’re seeing. Feel free to share your favorite example.