Buildings in Mansell Street
Buildings in Mansell Street
Buildings in Mansell Street
Fronts of businesses at 57-65 Mansell Street, Aldgate, looking south. On the left, number 57 is derelict but it housed D Oberman, seller of costumes, gowns and mantles.

The building is early eighteenth-century Baroque, built in the 1720s for James Edmundson, a Director of the South Sea and Royal African companies. At the front, it has stone piers with solid ball finials and at the back is connected to a former warehouse at 31 West Tenter Street.

It was restored in 1986-88, becoming offices, and the architect Anthony Miller commented that its style was, “in the red pot belly and roast beef Georgian tradition.” Number 59 belongs to Hirst & Isaac, mantle and costume manufacturers. It was built as a warehouse in 1887 by Samuel & Henry Harris’s company, which sold polishes. The Harris brothers owned number 57 so they built 59 to match its style; the architects were Wigg, Oliver & Hudson.

In 1914, the building became the headquarters of the Jewish Association for the Protection of Women and in the 1920s it housed the Club for the Jewish Deaf. From the 1930s to the 1980s, both buildings housed companies in the rag trade though 59 also houses a company called Transmotors. During the 1986-88 restoration a mansard attic and a link to a new neo-Georgian block at 29 West Tenter Street were added to number 59, and the building was named John Snow House.

Both 57 and 59 have been renovated and were Grade II listed in 1971, listing number 1065151. Their gates, piers and walls to the road are also Grade II listed, listing number 1241049. Both now contain offices. Number 61 appears to be a tobacconists as it is advertising Piccadilly cigarettes and Golden Virginia tobacco. Built in 1961 as a four-storey office block, it stands on the site of a house built in 1690 and demolished in 1960. In 2002, an extension of a four-storey office building was added at 25 West Tenter Street; the architect was Michael Sherley of City North Group. The building now houses Release, an organisation giving advice on drugs and sex workers’ rights. Number 63 extends at the back to include 23 West Tenter Street and was built in 1929-30 in neo-Georgian style on the site of a seventeenth-century mansion, with Digby Lewis Solomon as the architect.

The original house was demolished in 1924 though some of its panelling survives in the Geffrye Museum. The new building was a hostel, the Jews Temporary Shelter, for new Jewish immigrants until 1973 when the shelter moved to Kilburn. Number 63 is now offices. Number 65 was built on the site of a late seventeenth-century house that was demolished in 1915 and is connected to a former warehouse on West Tenter Street. Josiah Tetley & Co Ltd used the building as a tea and coffee warehouse from 1938 until 1958 when numbers 65 to 73 were combined to form Mansell House, renumbered 69 and turned into offices occupied for a time by the Ministry of Works. The building was redeveloped in 1988, being given a postmodern facade of grey granite with red trim. The architectural firm was Cowell Matthews Wheatley.

In the photo, there is a man outside 57, a cyclist pushing his bicycle and three men outside 59, two of whom appear to be carrying barrels. There is also a pile of rubbish in the front yard. There is another man and two saloon cars outside number 61 and a woman looking out of a window at 63.
London Metropolitan Archives
LCC Photograph Library
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