The Zoroastrian community have been a lot more conscientious than their predecessors in restoring the listed building to its original design. Today, as part of Open House London, we got to see the results of their work.
Yes, that's a bar. The Zoroastrians have no prohibition against drinking -- in fact, Cobra Beer was founded by a Zoroastrian.
The door in this picture opens on a flight of stairs leading to the old projection room, which now contains the "eternal flame" found in all Zoroastrian temples. We weren't allowed to go up there, but we did hear an interesting talk about the Zoroastrian faith. It seems like a pretty good-hearted religion; its followers focus on good deeds, believe in progress and see all faiths as coming from God. Zoroastrianism also grants women a relatively high level of equality. The speaker even claimed that the story of Portia in The Merchant of Venice was based on a Zoroastrian legend - except that in the original, the woman did not disguise herself as a man to argue in court, because she didn't need to. (I have to say, though, that I haven't found any scholarly confirmation of this theory.)
There are about 200,000 Zoroastrians in the world today, of whom about 5,000 live in Britain. They continue to face severe persecution in Iran and Central Asia.