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Joint winner of the Georgian Group National Awards 2011 for ‘The restoration of a Georgian building in an urban setting.’
‘The greatest joy in the street with its vivacious rocaille decoration, unique in London’ Pevsner
Patrick Baty paint research
Peter Maynard applying Peelaway
Joinery repairs to fascia board
John Haydon applying gold leaf to his lettering
Fanlight repaired and painting completed
Romil Patel, John Haydon and David Bieda – work completed
You can see the unusual ‘harp and lyre’ carving by the fanlight. Thomas Norman was the first occupant in 1791 but his trade is not known but maybe a musical instrument shop?
88 Dean Street is the finest 18c shopfront in Westminster and one of the best in London with unusual rope ornamentation and cross banded fluting - unaltered since 1791 except for the shop door. Historic paint research was carried out by Patrick Baty (top left and see below) before restoration and the Heritage of London Trust has kindly assisted. The client was Romil Patel, pictured below, who initiated this project as the proprietor of the house and David Bieda (68 Dean Street) his pro bono adviser. Peter Maynard (who has worked on many houses in Soho over the last 15 years) carried out the stripping, many joinery repairs and re-built the very damaged lead fanlight and re-glazed it; David Connor (who lives at 88) decorated and had the difficult task of paint removal from the many detailed carvings
without damaging same; John Haydon did the sign writing and gold leaf. The Barrett & Jarvis foundry re-created the triple bell pull mechanism. Thanks to Robert Ayton, Head of Conservation, Central Area Team, for his support. The conversion of the ground floor of 88 Dean Street to ‘retail’ was paralleled in Soho Square and Oxford Street and its restoration thus stands as a commemoration of the West End as the UK’s premier shopping destination. Many comments were received from passers’ by and locals and great interest has been shown in this work – e.g. http://www.flickr.com/photos/47071837@N02/5649383571/ - which recommended dark green (see below)!
The fascia board before, during and after (first undercoat). The ornamentation is gesso and not carved wood so difficult to strip and restore.
Original bell-pull holes, plaster cast of same and new plate, Romil Patel with bell pull, Peter Maynard & Treve Rosoman (EH) with damaged glass, John Haydon sign-writing.
Many people have asked about the choice of paint colours. Patrick Baty’s page report indicated light stone in three areas. The priming and undercoats were similar. However we decided to use the many watercolours of London streets made by George Scharf between 1818-1850 as guidance. They show most shopfront glazing bars in a dark wood colour and many vibrant dark colours for the rest with an unusual dark green often used. We tested various colours and decided on Dulux Heritage Walnut for the glazing bars and Olive Green for the rest using the magnificent illustrations by George Scharf below. Romil Patel spent two days in the British Library going through these watercolours and we blew up the jpegs to try to get the details of the colours.
George Scharf – the Strand (either side) and St Martin’s Lane (middle), illustrating the vibrant colours used from the late 1700’s. Patrick Baty’s Paint Research: http://www.scribd.com/doc/67160845/88-Dean-Street
This house with its attractive shop front dates from 1791. The first occupant was a Thomas Norman whose trade is not known. This is a wide single-fronted house containing a cellar-basement, three storeys, and a mansard garret. A shop occupies most of the ground floor, with the house entrance-passage on its south side. The upper floors are arranged with two front rooms, the south with two windows and the north with one, and two small back rooms to the north of the dog-legged staircase. The one noteworthy feature of the building is the shop front, a design of great charm and interest, constructed in wood with compo ornamentation. It is divided by slender pilaster-strips into four bays, the first and third, which are narrow, containing respectively the door to the house and the shop. The second and third bays are wide, and each contains a display window which projects above the stallboard and has canted ends. The entablature-like fascia breaks forward, with a segmental curve at either end, above the display windows and shop doorway. Much of the decorative detail is in the pretty 'Classical' mode of the late eighteenth century, but Rococo panel-frames are used with happy effect on the fascia. Each pilaster-strip has a plain base; a shaft modelled with vertical mouldings, comprising a rope-like bead centred between paired plain beads of triangular section, with plain fillets on the outside; and a capping block decorated with a compo ornament combining crossed trumpets and a lyre. Both display windows are divided by moulded glazing-bars into two series of five large panes, each a tall oblong, the end panes being canted on plan. The two-leaved glazed door to the shop appears to be late Victorian, but the house door is original, with five flush panels— two small horizontal oblongs at the top, a large square in the middle, and two small vertical oblongs below—all being decorated with a border of crossbanded fluting. Above the door is a fanlight with glazing set in a metal frame formed of a large oval intersected by diagonal bars converging on a small central oval. The entablature, or fascia, has an architrave composed of a narrow band of fluting below a guilloche band. On the wide frieze are panels enclosed by Rococo frames. That over the shop door is an open oval formed by C-scrolls flanked by palm branches; over each display window is a long panel enclosed by elongated C-scrolls and rocaille ornaments; and above the house door more C-scrolls form a panel shaped roughly like a knuckle-bone. The cornice is of unorthodox profile, consisting of a rope ornamented ovolo beneath a corona that has a reeded soffit and a plain ovolo profile. www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41068
Romil Patel and Viscount Linley – Georgian Group 2011 Awards. The youngest winner in 9 years of these awards. Dr. John Martin Robinson – Awards Chairman in the background at Christie’s King Street London 31 10 2011.
HOW THE PROJECT BEGAN
From: Romil Patel Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 10:25 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Rippons; 88 Dean Street
Hi, I am the proprietor of Rippon, the stationer and newsagents at 88 Dean Street. We have a shop front which dates back to 1791. Previous proprietors have simply washed and painted over the historic shop frontage. I however would like to restore it to its former glory. It has proven to be an enormous task to find help and advice on how to go about this. I have tried contacting the council on several occasions, leaving messages for officers but have had no response from them. I would not be able to afford to restore the shop front on my own and was of the opinion that I might be entitled to some help from the council or some sort of historical or preservation society. I would be very grateful for any advice you may be able to provide me. Thank you Romil Romil Patel Rippons 88 Dean Street London W1D 3ST Tel: 020 7439 2325 Fax: 020 7272 9712 Mob: 07717410864