Friday, 9 March 2012

SW corner of Old Compton Street and Dean Street W1

At first sight it is difficult to work out if the modest modernist building on the corner of Dean Street and Old Compton Street dates from the 1930s or the 1950s, until you know that a high explosive bomb landed there on 11th May 1941.
The popular Patisserie Valerie was destroyed, and behind you can see the ruins of St Anne's church that had been bombed the previous year.
At least 15 people died - the full death toll was never established.
The new building was clearly done under post-war restrictions - it looks a bit cheap. But the owner splashed out on some rather attractive stone boats in the windows that add a bit of charm to a vibrant but architecturally dreary street.


Hels said...

Did the owner splash out on some attractive stone boats in the windows that had been there before the war and had been destroyed? Or were the boats a totally new idea?

London Remembers said...

I’ve admired these little ships before and it’s good to see them featured. I’ve always assumed the building was pre-war: the ribbon windows, the curved corner and the fluted background to the relief panels all shout “art deco”. Comparing the bomb damage photo I can’t ID anything which matches the current Google Streetview of the location (though there is a pillar box). How certain are you that the picture depicts this corner? I hunted along Old Compton Street and couldn’t find any other corner it might be. Sorry to be questioning your post but I’ve just spent about an hour on this and I’m curious!

Chris Partridge said...

You can tell it is that corner because you can see the ruin of St Anne's church in the background.

London Remembers said...

That building with the pediment is St Anne's, as was - now I see it. I'm convinced, and should have trusted you all along. I've now lost faith in my ability to differentiate buildings of the 30s from the 50s. Isn't there a saying, something like: the more you learn the more you discover you don't know?

yarranton said...

was there a book binders shop
called yarrantons which was destroyed in 1940 in old Compton street