Phase one of Burlington Arcade restoration completed
The first phase of the restoration project to return one of Britain’s most historic arcades, the Burlington Arcade to the original 1819 design, has been completed.
Originally designed by architect Samuel Ware under the commission of Lord George Cavendish, resident of Burlington House (now the Royal Academy), the Burlington Arcade was to be England’s first covered promenade of shops. Ware’s celebrated and harmonious original design has not been visible for over 100 years. Through this extensive renovation the public are once again treated to a clear unobstructed view down the full length of the Arcade. This involved repainting the upper arches in the original ecru white colour used in 1819 when the Arcade was first opened, as well as installing discreet up-lighting in place of the obtrusive, four-year old hanging globes.
Markus Meijer (pictured), chief executive of Meyer Bergman, Burlington Arcade's co-owner, says: “We are extremely pleased to have completed our restoration of the upper elements of Burlington Arcade on schedule. We believe that the look and feel of this iconic building has been dramatically enhanced, and we are particularly proud to be able to showcase its full architectural splendour for the first time in over 100 years.”
Joseph Sitt, chief executive of Thor Equities, Burlington Arcade's co-owner, adds: “The physical improvements we have made to this historic building since we acquired it are further complemented by the number of exciting new tenants we have attracted, as well as the existing retailers we are pleased to have retained. All of these initiatives are vital to achieving our goal of ensuring that Burlington Arcade retains both its unique charm and its spot as one of the world’s most desirable and high profile retail destinations.”
The Burlington Arcade has a history of making sure it is at its best for royal occasions. During World War II there was considerable architectural damage to the Piccadilly end, when the Arcade was struck by bombs. Restoration work was required and completed just in the time for Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation on 2nd June 1953.
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