St Paul’s Studios, W14

The St Paul’s Studios block – so-named as it looked over the grounds of St Paul’s School – was aimed at the housing of ’bachelor artists’. These unmarried men would require a separate flat for their housekeepers and their artistic endeavours would require the large windows with natural light facing Colet Gardens. And it became so.

Frederick Wheeler designed St Paul’s Studios for fine art publisher James Fairless and much attention was put into the design with wonderful Victoria terracotta flourishes and a distinctive typeface on the signage.

The block was occupied within a year of being built by the very clientele it had been designed for – amongst others, artist William Logsdail, designer George Kruger Gray and sculptor Ruby Levick lived here.

The block looked out onto a peaceful suburban scene until the turn of the 1960s. Quiet Colet Gardens, with its milk floats and schoolchildren, fell victim to the upgraded A4 scheme whereby the Cromwell Road was extended westwards to link to the Hammersmith Flyover via this very spot. Renamed as part of the Talgarth Road, the widened route became the main road west out of London towards Heathrow. Thundering lorries put paid to the artistic charms of St Paul’s Studios.

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