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1871 – Turkish Baths, No. 76 Jermyn St., London

Architect: Arthur Cates

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In 1862 the London and Provincial Turkish Bath Co. Ltd. built what was said by some to be the finest in Europe at number 76. Although both grand and spectacular closed down at the beginning of the Second World War due to lack of use. A few months after the baths closed, the site was completely destroyed when a Nazi parachute bomb exploded above Jermyn Street on 17th April 1941.

Perspective published in The Building News, November 3 1871: In Jermyn Street the street frontage of the well known Hammam Turkish Bath has recently been rebuilt from the designs of Mr Arthur Cates of Whitehall Yard and there are some peculiarities in plans and construction we think worth attention. The building has floors including the basement which with the upper storey are as offices and accommodation for servants. The ground floor is appropriated as entrance to the Turkish Bath and for the Ladies Bath offices the four intermediate floors being arranged for sub letting Apartments in the French style, each separate apartment consisting the reception room with an alcove attached for the bed divided by usual curtain, with which in Paris we are familiar each suite having necessary conveniences attached. In several cases, howeve,r on each an additional room can be added to the suite if required. They are intended for residential chambers of exceptionally first rate and character and as a proof of the demand tor this class of accommodation, we may say that the applicants for suites are far more numerous than the building can provide for. The rooms are disposed round a large central staircase of considerable area, surrounded by a corridor on each floor open to the roof and paved with encaustic tiles. The construction is fireproof throughout upon Fox & Barrett’s principle and the whole of the floors are trowelled Portland cement. The staircase is heated by a small furnace at the basement level, and the heat is regulated by a ventilator in the inner skylight at the roof level giving a control over the general temperature which (we can speak from personal experience on an unusually cold day) is perfect.

Another point worthy of remark is the excessive pains taken to perfect the ventilation of each room in detail. Every stove (Boyd’s patent hygiastic) has a fresh air flue communicating with the external air (independent of course of the smoke flue) the draft of the fire thus keeping up a constant supply of warm fresh air, and to each room and to each alcove a separate ventilating flue (Boyd’s) is provided for removing the vitiated air and products of combustion from the upper stratum of air in the room. The size of the building on plan is about 50 x 54, the front is red brick with Ancaster stone dressings in a bold modern style enriched with carving by Mr Seal of Apollo Buildings, Lambeth. Messrs Kirk and Parry of Little Queen Street Westminster and Sleaford Lincolnshire are the contractors.