Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Regent Palace Hotel 1912 - 2009

The Regent Palace Hotel, another J Lyons hotel in central London. Built in the Beaux Arts style and opened in 1915.

The building is a steel-framed structure, faced externally with glazed terra-cotta, the roof being covered with green slates. No less than 6000 tons of steelwork were required for the structure. There are nine floors above ground level, with a lower ground floor, basement and sub-basement.

The main entrance is at the apex facing towards Piccadilly Circus.

Here, one once entered through a vestibule into a circular lounge, lined with marble and having a richly embellished ceiling in the form of a shallow dome.


"Entrance Hall"

"The Reception Hall, Regent Palace Hotel"

The vestibule opened into the reception hall, on the one side of which was a staff counter and office, while on the other, was a marble staircase and three passenger lifts serving the various floors.

Beyond, entered through the large swing doors, was the Rotunda Court. It had, over the centre, a large dome-light filled with stained and leaded glass and was seated with chairs and tables, which were chiefly occupied for afternoon tea.

"Rotunda Court"

Opening out of the Rotunda Court was the Louis XVI Restaurant. The walls were of a light tone, with dark brown hangings to the windows.

"Louis XVI Restaurant"

From one side of the Rotunda court access was gained to a corridor off which opened the general writing-room, and the Ladies’ writing-room, and at this point also were stairs leading up to the bedroom floors and down to the apartments on the lower ground floor, which include an immense grill-room, a smoking and reading room, a small palm court, and a billiard room.

"Grill Room"
"Grill Room"
Winter Garden"
"Drawing Room"

In the basement are the kitchen and kindred offices, and in the sub-basement the heating, ventilating, and power plant.

"Kitchen, Regent Palace Hotel Piccadilly."

From the first floor upwards, the whole of the hotel was occupied by bedrooms, sitting-rooms and bathrooms.

In 1934, the ‘Chez Cup, Bar’ under the entrance rotunda, was created in 1934 out of the former billiard room, and has been recreated in 2010 from the original architectural drawings.

Strand Palace Hotel

The site of the Strand Palace Hotel

Rectory of St Clement Danes,

House built on site by Thomas Palmer (died 1553)

1561 House extended

Extended by William Cecil [1520 - 1598]

1571 Cecil was created Lord Burghley, this London seat becomes known as Burghley House.

"It was a symmetrical double-courtyard brick house of three storeys, with four-storey corner turrets. A central entrance led from The Strand into the front court. At its garden front, with a central bay window and corner turrets, the house looked over gardens on grounds purchased from the Earl of Bedford and the earl's fields of Covent Garden beyond. The garden included a mount with a spiralling path to its top, a paved tennis court, a bowling alley and an orchard."

1598 The house becomes the residence of Burghley's elder son Thomas Cecil.

1605 Thomas Cecil created 1st Earl of Exeter.

His younger brotherRobert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, builds Salisbury House on the opposite side of the Strand.

1676 House converted into/demolished and replaced by Exeter Exchange

1817 Waterloo Bridge opened.

1829 Exeter Exchange Demolished

1831 Exeter Hall opens.

1907 Exeter Hall Demolished

1907. Strand Hotel Limited was incorporated on 31 October with some 4,000 shareholders. Created by the Salmon & Gluckstein families, it was established to fund the building of the Strand Palace Hotel.

1909 Strand Palace Hotel opens.

1922. J Lyons &Co acquired shares in this enterprise and also bought the adjoining Haxells family hotel in order to expand and improve the Strand hotel.

1928. After extensive redevelopment, the hotel became an art deco showcase, and reopened in  boasting 980 bedrooms.

The rear of the property was occupied by the Winter Garden Restaurant.The Winter Garden restaurant had a large dome ceiling and could seat over 500 guests, which were served by over 100 staff.

Due to its large number of bedrooms, the hotel became popular with the American forces before they were sent into action. Indeed, the hotel was in fact commissioned as an official U.S rest and recuperation residence.

The post-war era saw the Strand Palace Hotel implement a number of improvements. With the introduction of private bathrooms in all guest rooms in 1958, reducing the number of rooms at the hotel to 786. The increased number of bathroom facilities meant oil-fired boilers had to be installed to cope with the demand for hot water.

1968. the front hall and ground floor restaurants, including the Winter Garden, were redesigned, and the first computerised billing system in London was installed.
The revolving doors designed by Oliver P. Bernard were removed in this redesign, but were of such fine quality and historic interest that curators at the Victoria and Albert Museum requested them for their collection.The doors were exhibited in 2003, in the museum's major exhibition 'Art Deco: 1910-1939' .

1976. Forte bought the lease for the Strand Palace Hotel from the Lyons Hotel Group.

1985. An in depth refurbishment was undertaken on all floors of the new hotel and this included new furniture, new bathrooms and a redecoration of the bedrooms.

2006. London and Regional Properties' took over the hotel.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Chris Killip

Aricle in the Telegraph Magazine, on Chris Killpip, photographer due to the upcoming show at the Photographers Gallery London

This image particularly intrigued me . . .  in the magazine it's titled "housing and Swan Hunter's Shipyard. Wallesend, 1975.

I noticed the street sign "Gerald Street".

Turns out to be the birthplace of Sting in 1951.

"Leslie Street together with neighbouring streets, Hunter Street, Davis Street, Gerald Street and Camp Road are now demolished allowing for the excavations of the Roman Fort Segedunum.

"Eventually, in 1884, the whole fort disappeared under terraced housing. . . . . North Tyneside Council provided accommodation in the newly built Battle Hill Estate for the owners of all the houses demolished."

"Segedunum: The 'most excavated' fort on Hadrian's Wall"