Elgin Mansions

Elgin Mansions, Maida Vale
Elgin Mansions, Maida Vale
Elgin Mansions, Maida Vale

We know Elgin Mansions

Mansion blocks did not arrive in Maida Vale until just before the turn of the century. But following the construction of the first in 1897, the area welcomed a swathe of new developments with eight blocks constructed in an incredibly busy decade.

Built in three separate stages due to three separate developers and a lack of funds, Elgin Mansions was one of the first blocks to be completed in 1900.

The locality had secured its name some years earlier when Lord Elgin opened 1 Elgin Road (now 255 Elgin Avenue) in 1863. And 1889 brought about major administrative changes with the establishment of the London County Council.

Maida Vale suffered major damage during the Blitz, with a high concentration of Nazi bombs targeting the area. By the end of the war there was scarcely a street in the town that had not been impacted by the Luftwaffe, including Elgin Mansions, losing one complete block during a bombing raid.

Later rebuilt, the rubble from the remains was used as fill in the back garden, which is today in need of constant attention due to a lack of soil and poor grounding. Having avoided complete destruction during the war, Elgin Mansions certainly didn’t miss out on the celebration and pomp and circumstance of the following years.

Just two days after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 4 June 1953 crowds lined the streets of Elgin Avenue when the new monarch visited the street as part of her tour around the suburbs of London.

Over the years Elgin Mansions has attracted a host of notable residents, as well as some others not so notable. HK Hales resided at number 91 in the 1930s, during which time he was a widely respected MP and also posed for Arnold Bennett’s work The Card.

During the 1930s number 27 was home to Charles Coburn, the comedian who is most fondly remembered for the songs Two Lovely Black Eyes and The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo. In 1984 while staying with a friend, renowned pianist Rick Wakeman wrote a piece which was entitled Elgin Mansions. The piece was to be performed on a Barry Norman BBC Omnibus series for television.

Quite a few years before, Elgin Mansions was the centre of the red light district from where many upper class call-girls operated.

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