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London: 25 later 70 Portland Place, alterations for Admiral Sir Alan (later 1st Lord) Gardner, 1795 and further alterations, 1810 (2)


Portland Place was begun as a speculative venture by the Adam brothers in 1773. No.68 (formerly No.25) was on the east side between Devonshire and Weymouth Streets. It survived until 1957-58 when the neighbouring RIBA building was extended onto the site.

Soane's client was Admiral Sir Alan Gardner, later 1st Lord Gardner (1742-1809). Soane's office Journal 3 records that on 5 May 1795 he 'settled the affairs of house in Portland Place' and on 9 November of that year 'Examined the dry rot'.
Fifteen years later on 18 July 1810 Soane 'went to Lord Gardner's and survey'd the premises' and on 23 August repairs were begun. The first Lord Gardner died on 1 January 1809 so that the later references to 'Lord Gardner' must refer to the oldest son, Alan Hyde Gardner, the 2nd Lord Gardner and, like his father, an Admiral in the Royal Navy.

Literature. P.Dean, Sir John Soane and London, 2006, pp.223-4

Jill Lever
July 2015



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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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