This view from High Holborn street (facing south) perfectly illustrates the London cityscape: full of contrast. Some may not like the contrast because it lacks continuity, but I love it.
What London maintains, that other cities lack, is authenticity. What you see is what you get. If it looks old, it's old; if it looks new, it's new. London architects (in general) have done a brilliant job of designing new structures that not only reflect the style and technology of the day, but that are also sensitive to the surrounding structures through the use of similar materials, lines, or decorative motifs.
If you love architectural history, you will love London because you can read it like a book. If you can't acertain an approximate date from "reading" the style of the structure, if you look closely you will almost always be able to literally read an exact date of completion on the facade near the main entry, or at one of the cornerstones.
I had a unique experience in graduate school, because I went into it with one opinion, and came away with a complete paradigm shift, in the truest sense. Although this is my second time back since grad school, it's almost like I'm seeing London through new eyes. I will hope to show you some of these delightful contrasts as I go on my way.
p.s. This blog is sure random, isn't it? If you know me personally, you know how perfectly this blog suits me. It's as scatterbrained and distracted as I am!