London's $4 million plus pile is back in business...or maybe not really in business because plans to charge admission to stand on top of the Marble Arch Mound and marvel at London have been dropped.
But even for free it has shown little success at silencing critics who have called it wasteful, senseless, ugly and worse. It closed two days after it opened, with visitors pointing out its exposed surfaces and unfinished planting. At 80 feet high and sitting in a popular park, its faults were hard to overlook.
The Westminster Council, the local board behind the idea refunded fees it had collected and apologized, saying "We're very sorry that the Marble Arch Mound wasn't ready for visitors when it opened earlier this week.
"London's businesses and residents have suffered through the pandemic and we built the Mound as part of our bigger plan to get people back into the City and into the shops, restaurants, theatres and to see the amazing sights the West End has to offer.
"We wanted to open the Mound in time for the summer holidays and we did not want to disappoint people who had already booked tickets. We made a mistake and we apologise to everyone who hasn't had a great experience on their visit."
But even the apologies and continued tinkering with the Mound have not satisfied the critics. Fortunately for all, it was always intended to be temporary.