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© Ms Clare Glenister

IoE Number: 441467
Location: LEOPOLD BUILDINGS WITH STORES AND ATTACHED RAILINGS, 2-12 COLUMBIA ROAD (south side)
  BETHNAL GREEN, TOWER HAMLETS, GREATER LONDON
Photographer: Ms Clare Glenister
Date Photographed: 12 October 1999
Date listed: 11 March 1994
Date of last amendment: 05 April 1995
Grade II

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

In the entry for: COLUMBIA ROAD TQ 3382 (south side) 788-/8/10036 nos. 2-12 (Leopold Buildings with stores and attached railings) II the address shall be amended to read: 'nos. 2-12 and Leopold Buildings (including stores and attached railings)'. ------------------------------------ The following building shall be added: COLUMBIA ROAD TQ 3382 (south side) 788-/8/10036 nos. 2-12 (Leopold Buildings with stores and attached railings) II Philanthropic flatted accommodation with attached shops and lower blocks at the Hackney Road end; built by Sydney Waterlow's Improved Industrial Dwellings Company; designed by Waterlow and constructed with the help of a builder, Matthew Allen. 1872. Brick in Flemish bond with cement dressings and some concrete construction to floors. Roofs parapetted. Four storeys and four storeys with attic, stepping down to nos. 2-12 which were built at the same time to a slightly different design. Nos. 2-12 have tripartite windows to no. 2, 6, 8, 12, the rest paired windows; broken join with taller blocks; lintel bands and dressings similar to larger block; pierced parapet. Leopold Buildings proper (consisting of flats no. 1-79) fronted by broad half-basement area, railed and spanned by stone steps at five points, at the foot of the full-height, open-well stairs. Recessed four-storey ranges, alternating with four-storey with attic ranges, creating a movemented parapet line by recessed and railed balcony ranges that are characteristic of all IIDC designs. Each balcony recess flanked by canted bays with panelled spandrels rising from basement through first floors to finish in a second-floor balcony; tripartite windows to bay ranges. All openings flat arched. Lintel band to first floor; bracketed entablature and corbel table to third floor and attic storey; pierced parapet to flat roof Each recessed balcony range of two bays, with central brick pier having metal filigree spandrels to floor slabs. Flat-arched openings to balcony range. Rear elevation in plain, utilitarian style, dominated by rear projections originally designed to contain sculleries and WCs. The high, sheer bulk and simple style typical of IIDC blocks is here relieved by the varying heights and the termination of the block in lower commercial ranges to Hackney Road. A lively counterpoint to the jagged silhouette of the main elevation provided by standard IIDC balcony-stair well recesses. Leopold Buildings is a distinctive architectural whole that produces a dramatic and memorable streetscape. The IIDC, founded in 1863 from the housing experiments of Sydney Waterlow, was one of two main providers of inexpensive working-class housing in late C19 London, the other being the Peabody Trust. Leopold Buildings is representative of the IIDC formula, in which blocks were fitted into -existing streetscapes; the Peabody Trust; by contrast, built courtyard estates.

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