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Today some of the city’s most sought after districts, Shoreditch and Bethnal Green were historically home to some of London’s worst slums that swelled as the Victorian city pushed further eastwards through rapid industrialisation. Responding to dire living conditions philanthropists, reformers and the public sector intervened in a housing landscape pushed to its limits via wartime destruction.
In this walk, The London Ambler traces housing as intervention in the neighbourhoods of the old East End exploring waves of 19th century improvement and design exemplars from Peabody’s utilitarian brick dwellings, an the LCC’s arts and crafts tenements to 20th century modernist towers and vernacular turns.
Housing in London is a critical issue. In recent years, a worsening crisis of affordability has spurred the city’s boroughs to again create housing for themselves and today they are working with architects and communities to deliver some of the best anywhere in the capital. As part of a season of events exploring the legacy of the public sector on the built fabric of the city, urban historian Mike Althorpe aka The London Ambler hosts four walks for The London Society exploring the history of affordable housing through the experiences of four London neighbourhoods charting physical change, local context and the evolution of domestic design and typologies.
Mortimer Wheeler House
46 Eagle Wharf Road
London N1 7ED
020 7253 9400