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© Mr David March

IoE Number: 478430
Photographer: Mr David March
Date Photographed: 08 August 2004
Date listed: 03 March 1972
Date of last amendment: 11 January 1999
Grade II*

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CAMDEN TQ3181NW HOLBORN BARS 798-1/102/888 (North side) 03/03/72 No.142 Prudential Assurance Building (Formerly Listed as: GREVILLE STREET Prudential Assurance Building) (Formerly Listed as: CITY OF LONDON HOLBORN (North side) No.142 Prudential Assurance Company Offices) GV II* Office block. 1885-1901 in several phases, by Alfred Waterhouse assisted by his son Paul and with additions of 1930-32 by EM Joseph not entirely replaced by rebuilding of 1989-93 and which include 1878-9 fragments. Polished granite, red brick, red terracotta and much use of fine ironwork, with roof in most areas of slate laid in diminishing courses. The 1930s work with internal steel frame, but the building is made coherent despite the many phases by the use of similar materials of a very restricted colour range. STYLE: boldly detailed and picturesque Gothic Revival style. PLAN: complex plan, dominated by front range of 1897-1901, the Furnival's Inn building campaign. To left or west of this range is the steel-framed range of 1930-32 by EM Joseph in matching style, on the site of the first Prudential development on the site of 1879-83 and now truncated; however the late C20 work along Brooke Street incorporates within it a three-window range of 1885-8 by Waterhouse. East of the Furnival's Inn block and returning along Leather Lane is the so-called Ridler's Hotel block, of 1897-1901. North of this are the Wood's Hotel range of 1895-6 and Greville Street/ Leather Lane block of 1895. Large internal courtyard now known as Waterhouse Square, with smaller courtyard to south. EXTERIOR: Holborn Bars elevation (part of Furnival's Inn building campaign) has carriageway arch flanked by pedestrian arched walkways in range that terminates in tower with hipped roof and fleche. Three window ranges to either side, the centre of which is topped by a gabled dormer; terminating these ranges are full-height rectangular bays finishing in facing gables, three-window segmental bay to each. To the left or west the 1930-32 range is seven storeys in the main, but the ranges to Holborn Bars continue the facade height of the Furnival's Inn building. Joseph's work has four-window range contiguous with Waterhouse's and terminating, at the corner with Brooke Street, in a rectangular bay. There is a short return along the west of two-window ranges before the building steps up to a full seven-storey high wing of three windows. Joseph's range further north along Brooke Street has been replaced by recent construction. Embedded in this late C20 work is a three-window range of 1885-8 with four-window return to north; on the corner is a polygonal turret finishing in a high hipped roof. To the east of the Furnival's Inn block and returning along Leather Lane the Ridler's Hotel parcel has a five-window range continuing from the Furnival's Inn range and terminating in a rectangular corner wing or block. The return continues the design of the main block before setting back along the long Leather Lane elevation, which has a basement area enclosed by railings of an authentic design. This build of 1897-1901 continues to just north of the angled bay which terminates in a turret with a conical roof; although the material is similar to that found on the main Holborn Bars elevation the detailing is considerably simplified. East of the angled bay / tower is two-storey, flat-roofed block of two-window range; behind this are ranges of the Furnival's Inn campaign once again, here exactly matching the design of the Ridler's Hotel block. To the north of the bay which contains a pedestrian way to the north courtyard is the Wood's Hotel block, which has a four-window range. North of this point, marked by a hefty half-round, attached shaft, the elevation cambers westwards for nine windows. This is the Greville Street and Leather Lane block, and it terminates near the corner in two facing gables; there is a short return westwards along the former line of Greville Street. The design of the elevation to this north-east block are the simplest in the whole complex but still match the colour of the other elevations. The north courtyard is now named in honour of Waterhouse. Its north range is four windows wide flanked by gable facing pavilions and it is part of the Wood's Hotel block. The northernmost bays of the east and west ranges of this courtyard are also part of this campaign. The southern parts of these ranges and that along the south are part of the Furnival's Inn campaign, as is the narrow carriageway to the south entrance courtyard. The 1914-18 War Memorial is now relocated to the north-east corner of Waterhouse Square. Bronze memorial plaques are nearby, flanking the entrance from Waterhouse Square to Leather Lane. These latter commemorate the 1939-45 war. INTERIOR: significant interiors include the public office on the ground floor of Furnival's Inn block and the Director's Staircase. Both are sheafed in faience. The Library is the only room to survive with most of its original fittings, including lights. Other interiors of special interest in the Furnival's Inn block include: on the first floor the suite of manager's offices retains mahogany panelling in one of the tower rooms and all the rooms to the east. A number of rooms on the second floor have good panelling, plaster ceilings and fireplaces. The faience in the Cashier's Office is particularly noteworthy. Panelling from the 1878-9 Board Room was used in the Director's Rest Room. The frontage to Holborn was formerly listed in the City of London on 03/03/72; the frontage to Greville Street listed in the LB of Camden on 14/05/74. Both parts were included in the LB of Camden following boundary changes on 1 April 1994. (Cunningham C and Waterhouse P: Alfred Waterhouse, 1830-1905, Biography of a Practice: Oxford: -1992).

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