Monday, September 29, 2008

Chesham Street , Belgravia

Chesham Street runs north to south between Eaton Place and Chesham Place.
Chesham Street takes its name from Chesham in Buckinghamshire, the site of a country estate owned by the Lowndes family. Their estate, the Lowndes estate, makes up a large part of the land between the Grosvenor estate and Knightsbridge.
There are original houses, built by Thomas Cubitt and possibly designed by J B Watson (whose designs for Nos. 13-17 have survived). No. 37 was built as a pub in 1829, but you wouldn't guess after the recent revamp. The original houses nearly all have fully stuccoed facades, but less ornate in style than the terraces of some surrounding streets. Many have recently been done up or converted into flats.
But there are also more modern buildings. Chalfont House on the west side is a 1930s-style block of flats on seven storeys above a basement. Pembroke House nearby (six storeys above a basement) is a 1950s building.
The Diplomat Hotel at No. 2 Chesham Street is now a listed building. It has a plaque recording that it was built by Thomas Cubitt in 1882 (which is a bit odd since Cubitt died 26 years earlier). The hotel has an elegant glass-domed stairwell housing a magnificent curving staircase, but it is not a particularly luxurious hotel.

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