Monday, March 31, 2014

DOWDGER DUCHESS OF MANCHESTER FAMILY PROPERTY #5 GROSVENOR SQUARE


By 1866 Sir John Ramsden, looking for a house in the Square, found that No. 5, which had been untenanted the year before, had 'been quite spoilt by a speculating Upholsterer who has cut out the division walls and made each floor into one enormous and ill-shaped Room'. (ref. 95) In 1870 the Marquess (later first Duke) of Westminster was favourable to rebuilding, but only when the lease of No. 6 fell in in 1882, and meanwhile (Sir) William Cunliffe Brooks, banker and M.P., had Messrs. Gillow furnish the house 'expensively'. By 1879 the intention to rebuild completely had evaporated. (ref. 96) After Sir William's death in 1900 the estate surveyor, Eustace Balfour, thought the twelve bedrooms gave insufficient accommodation for servants and that an extra storey was necessary—roughly in conformity with the views of the recently deceased first Duke of Westminster, who had thought Nos. 5 and 6 'would look better with higher roofs and better dormers, that is, the latter more pronounced, as they are now squat and inadequate'. (ref. 97) In 1901–2 the extra storey was provided (builders, Patman and Fotheringham), together with a lift and new staircase, by Lee and Pain, the architects employed by the new lessee, who told the Estate he had spent over £12,000 on it. Soon, in 1904, Harrods were responsible for alterations for a new purchaser, Consuelo, Dowager Duchess of Manchester, including a bay at the back in iron and glass by Rahir of Paris. Balfour evidently induced his master to resist a request for permission to cut down some of the second-floor front windows. (ref. 98) In 1914 alterations were planned by Sir Aston Webb for a new owner, Sir Walpole Greenwell, but it is not known if they were carried out. (ref. 99) The house was pulled down c. 1961.

Figure 33: No. 5 Grosvenor Square (demolished), ground-floor plan in 1810