Thursday, 9 February 2012

Commercial Buildings, Battersea

In the last quarter of the 19th century, a property developer keen to promote his two newly constructed buildings had their names painted on the end wall of the eastern unit: "Commercial Buildings." It is perhaps surprising that the name appears on the side but not on the main façades of the buildings, as it is usually the case. The two buildings, separated by Dorothy Road, are of similar design (shops on the ground floor with flats on the three floors above) but the east one, which accomodates eight retail units, is twice the size of the west one. Was there a similar ghost sign on the west building? This is highly unlikely. Even if it had been painted higher up it would still have been obscured by the Lavender Hill Post Office next door.
The Post Office and the two Commercial Buildings appear on this postcard from c. 1911. Both the Post Office and the building in the background with the neo-classical portico (largely hidden by the tramway) have since been replaced by modern horrors. However, one of these ugly modern buildings is lower than the construction it replaced and one can have a much better view of the ghost sign below than it was originally the case.

Commercial Buildings

Location: Lavender Hill / Picture taken in March 2010

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