2015-08-07

Municipal Dreams: "The Old Oak Estate, Hammersmith, ‘that line of beauty which Hogarth said was in a curve’"


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"Imagine a Hampstead Garden Suburb built for working people. Better still, if you're in London, take the Tube and get off at Acton East and visit the Old Oak Estate where you’ll find just such an estate.
"We've looked at the work of the LCC’s Architects' Department Housing of the Working Classes branch before – at the Millbank Estate, at Totterdown Fields, and at the White Hart Lane Estate. These are all fine arts and crafts-inspired estates but to Susan Beattie, Old Oak stands as 'the culminating achievement of the Council's venture into garden suburb planning before the first world war' – a work of 'splendid maturity'.

"Rising costs of land and labour were forcing the LCC to look to what were then the London fringes. In 1905, the Council purchased 54 acres in Hammersmith from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at a cost of £29,858. Eight acres were sold on to the Great Western Railway for its Ealing-Shepherd's Bush branch line which still bisects the Estate. The open space of Wormwood Scrubs lies to the north-east."

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