London Occasionals #5
I'm venturing beyond my north London enclave for this London Occasional.
I hadn't come across this touch of the Orient slap in the middle of London until a few weeks ago. It took my breath away. Such a surprise! But what is it? Where is it? When was it built?
As you can see the building is in good condition, and has marvellous tiling and architectural detail. It really is a gem.
This photo reveals more of the design. It feels more like the Alhambra than central London.
The building is no longer put to its original use - but it seems to be well patronised in its current guise.
And the area's redevelopment seems to have been designed around this curious building. As you can tell, its surroundings - at least on one side - are brashly modern. But this oasis of the exotic survives.
Anyone worked out yet where it is?
The pinnacle - is that the right word - of the building is lovely. A mini cupola of stained glass, and rising aloft the crescent and the cross. Not often you see that in this London locality.
I like the juxtaposition with the old gas lamp. It somehow helps to moor this structure in London, rather than Istanbul or Lahore.
Coincidently I photographed it the other day! It's near Liverpool street . Have you done the Janet Cardiff walking tour from whitechapel gallery? It takes you past it
I have just come across your site and blog when searching online for material on Alexande Baron. Whilst I am not sure what the original use of this building might have been, could it possibly have once been part of a local Turkish public bath? The reason why I suggest this is that these public facilities were sometimes designed in this style. You might want to take a peek at a smashing website called Victorian Turkish Baths (yes, it's true!) which can be found at: http://www.victorianturkishbath.org/_000HOME/HOMEPAGE.htm
Thanks for the kind words, Susan. Yes it was a Victorian Turkish bath and you can find out all about its history at:
Thanks Malcolm - and I commend his site, that details how this wonderful buidling was built as Turksih baths in 1895 and remained in use until 1954. Andrew
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