10 April 2018

218 Upper Street – what's next for bank building?

I just noticed this weekend that the NatWest Bank have moved out of 218 Upper Street and the site is empty.
There's been a bank on this site for over 140 years – in 1874 The National Provincial Bank of England was there and continued to be until at least the 1940s*.
This, of course, isn't the original Victorian building from 1874. I am not actually sure when it was built, I am guessing late 1950/60s, but I have always admired its simple, yet imposing façade and, especially, the lovely large circular reliefs on the door handles, set within heavy-looking warm-coloured wood. I have a blank as to who occupied the building when this frontage was installed. Perhaps, judging by the images on the door handle, there is a Greek association?

Greek words and references on the [bronze?] panels within one set of door handles – men/gods that I think could be the brothers Eros and Anteros riding porpoises/dolphins – with birds on the other pair of doors.
At the very top of the building there are three while roundels. 
There are also three circular reliefs at the top of the building depicting wheat and what I think might be a Star of David.
At the moment the property is being managed by Lowe Guardians, a charitable trust that, I assume, is care-taking the site until a new business moves in.
I really hope whoever takes over next will retain all these architectural features.

*This all needs a bit more research, bit I thought I'd share in case anyone out there has any relevant info.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful to read this. Thanks from Nathaniel.


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