Portland Place

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Portland Place is the wide street at the top of this 1790s map. At that time it terminated abruptly to the south at the gardens of Foley House.
Langham Place in Charles Booth's 1889 map was a short road which connected Portland Place to Upper Regent Street.
The Royal Institute of British Architects headquarters, a 1930s Grade II* listed building designed by architect George Grey Wornum, at 66 Portland Place in August 2012.
Number 1, Portland Place

Portland Place is a street in the Marylebone district of central London, England.

History and topography[edit]

The street was laid out by the brothers Robert and James Adam for the Duke of Portland in the late 18th century and originally ran north from the gardens of a detached mansion called Foley House. It was said that the width of the street was conditioned by the Duke's obligation to his tenant, Lord Foley, that his views to the north would not be interfered with.[1]

In the early 19th century Portland Place was incorporated into the royal route from Carlton House to Regent's Park developed for the Prince Regent by John Nash. The street is unusually wide for central London (33 metres / 110 feet).[2] It still contains many of the spacious Georgian terraced houses built by the Adams, as well as some early 20th century buildings and a few post World War II bombing infills.

In administrative terms, Portland Place lies within the City of Westminster's Marylebone High Street Ward as well as the Harley Street Conservation Area.[3]

Residents and buildings[edit]

Many of the houses are now occupied by company headquarters, professional bodies, embassies and charities (including Arthritis Research UK and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund). The landmark building of Royal Institute of British Architects sits directly opposite the Chinese embassy; for years practitioners of Falun Gong have mounted a silent protest in front of the former and facing the latter. Other foreign diplomatic institutions include the Polish Embassy, a Portuguese Consulate, the High Commission of Kenya, the Swedish Ambassador's Residence and the Colombian Consulate. In addition, Portland Place remains a fashionable address with some very exclusive blocks of mansion flats.

Number 1 houses the Institution of Chemical Engineers, number 41 the Academy of Medical Sciences and number 76 the Institute of Physics.

Its northern end opens into Nash's elegant stucco semicircular Park Crescent, which in turn leads on to Park Square and Regent's Park. There are two landmark buildings at the south end of the street, although both are technically in Langham Place: the grand late Victorian Langham Hotel, and Broadcasting House. Langham Place is a short road which connects Portland Place to Upper Regent Street, although on the ground they all appear to be one street.

Literary references[edit]

Portland Place is the location of the private hotel where Valeria and Eustace stay after their truncated honeymoon in ‘’The Law and the Lady’’ by Wilkie Collins, chapter VI.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.miketodd.net/other/bhhistory/bh_1755.htm
  2. ^ Norrie, Ian; Bohm, Dorothy (1984). Walks Around London - A Celebration of the Capital. London: Andre Deutsch. ISBN 0-233-97979-4. 
  3. ^ "Harley Street Conservation Area Map September 2007". Westminster City Council. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′13″N 0°08′42″W / 51.52023°N 0.14499°W / 51.52023; -0.14499