20 Southampton Street, WC2E 7QH
The tour charts the evolution of Covent Garden-incorporating the piazza, the wholesale produce market, social residential areas and supporting neighbourhoods - highlighting the social and commercial highs, lows and challenges.
Leicester Square, Temple, Covent Garden
Covent Garden has become a much visited neighbourhood by people from all over the globe. We explore how the area evolved from a kitchen garden to a giant wholesale produce market and was supplying clients throughout the UK. We look at one locality which supplied a variety of peripheral services to the market, as well the residential areas in latter years. At the same time highlighting the struggle to keep the area intact on the departure of the wholesale market and the impact on the local inhabitants and businesses as well as the area.
Guide: Tony Ganio has been constantly fascinated by the evolving face of London over the years. He has always had an interest in design and architecture and loves the extraordinary mix that we have in our city.
This tour is led by an alumnus of Open City’s Golden Key Academy – a course training up insightful and engaging guides dedicated to explaining London and bringing its many stories to life.
Further info on the Golden Key Academy can be found here https://open-city.org.uk/golden-key-academy
Meet in front of the bronze Covent Garden Market Plaque
20 Southampton Street
restaurant/bar, theatre, concert/performance space
Home to The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the ROH was reconfigured in 2018 by Stanton Williams to offer world-class performance spaces and a welcoming and inclusive cultural and social hub.
Sir Edward M. Barry, 1858
historical house, institution/profession
A very good example of Georgian/Adam architecture. Restoration 2012 of Great Room (James Barry paintings), Benjamin Franklin room. 2019, restoration and installation of 1754-2018 mural in the new Long Gallery.
Adam Brothers, 1774
religious, mixed use
Three centuries of Quakers in Westminster. Opened in 1883, with front doors added in the 1920s. It was bomb-damaged in 1941 and rebuilt in 1956. Grade II listed registered place of worship, it contains a peaceful meeting room and 1950s wood panelling and fittings.
W. W. Lee and J. A. Tregelles, 1883
religious, concert/performance space, restaurant/bar
One of Britain's finest churches, built in the Italian Baroque tradition and beautifully restored in 2008. Sustainable features include new heating and management systems and lightwell. RIBA Award Winner 2009. Civic Trust Award Winner 2010.
James Gibbs, 1726
The creation of new public realm along Strand, south of Aldwych, has been described as the one of the best things to happen to London in years. It is an exemplar of what's possible when road space is reclaimed for people and for nature.
LDA Design - Landscape Architect, 2022
Ever since the United States gained independence, Americans have been showing up again and again. This tour is about their influence on the UK from before the Revolutionary War to American heiresses marrying for titles to WWII to today.
Former US Embassy - Eero Saarinen, 1960
institution/profession, library, museum
The current building, the third on the site, was built between 1927-1933 in the Art Deco style, as a memorial to the 3,225 Freemasons who died in World War I. It is a Grade II* listed building, both internally and externally.
Henry Victor Ashley and F. Winton Newman, 1927
institution/profession, library, museum
HQ of professional and examining body for UK optometrists occupying two terraced houses, No. 41 (Flitcroft c1730 with later additions) and No. 42 (rebuilt by Tarmac plc, c1989) including Council chamber, print room, library and museum.
Henry Flitcroft, 1730
Discover the architecture of the National Portrait Gallery, designed in 1896 by Ewan Christian and now transformed by Jamie Fobert Architects. Please meet at the Ross Street Entrance. Drop-in 16 & 17 September at specific times listed below. But please note that spaces are extremely limited and tour places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Ewan Christian, 1896
historical house, museum
Grade I listed Georgian house, the only surviving home of Benjamin Franklin, retaining many original features including central staircase, lathing, 18th Century panelling, stoves, windows, fittings and beams.
Baron William Craven the Younger, 1732
Drop in / Guided tour
The first purpose-built new-build community centre to be built in the heart of Soho for generations, located within the renowned Phoenix Gardens. Winner: RIBA London Award. Designed by RIBA London Architect of the Year Winner.
Office Sian Architecture + Design, 2018
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