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Improvements to streets, 1825-1829 (18)

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In April 1825, the Bank was approached by the Commissions of Sewers for the City of London with designs for widening and improving the west end of Princes Street. The Bank had built offices on Princes Street in 1807-1810, at the corner of Princes Street and Cateaton Street, and the widening would affect building numbers 4 and 5 at the corner. The inhabitants of the Ward of Coleman Street had petitioned to the City of London for the widening and improving of the junction, and Samuel Acton, Surveyor of the Commission of Sewers, approached the Bank regarding the alterations. Inscriptions on the drawings were made in April 1829, at the same date as the correspondences, suggesting that the plans were reconsidered at this later date.

Designs were also made for altering the opposite corner of the Bank, at the junction of Threadneedle Street and St Bartholomew's Lane. Drawings for these alterations were made in 1824 and 1825.

The street improvements would have coincided with Soane's alterations to the facades of the Bank. Surely Soane's new façades influenced his interest in widening the streets and improving the approach to the Bank.

Two drawings for the Bank's street improvements are in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The drawings are rough designs for lamps.

Literature: P. du Prey, Sir John Soane, 1985, in series of 'Catalogues of architectural drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum', catalogue 161-162; D. Abramson, Building the Bank of England, 2005, p. 159.

Madeleine Helmer, 2011



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Contents of Improvements to streets, 1825-1829 (18)