The 2020 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2021 programme mid August 2021
Itinerary created by Open House Volunteer, Rick Smith
Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, London N1 2UD
Grade II listed. Original Art Deco style interiors, staircases and the impressive council chamber. Original clocks, paintings and decorative panels have survived for nearly a century in this lovely municipal building.
From standing facing the Town Hall turn right and head south along Upper Street – your next destination is on the first corner on the right (Barnsbury Street).
Walking time 1 minute
168 Upper Street, London N1 1RG
A 1:1 cast monument and memory to the Victorian terrace which previously existed on the site before it was bombed and cleared during WWII. The parade of buildings between Waterloo Terrace and Barnsbury Street, of which the proposed site forms the north corner, act as a prominent and all but intact late 19th Century block fronting Upper Street. In spite of the of the uniformity of heights, party-wall and shopfront/town house rhythm the original composition conceived as a symmetrical Palladian palazzo with a defined centre, extended ‘wings’ with end ‘pavilions’ is strong enough to question the missing part. This part, 168 Upper Street was significantly damaged during WWII and eventually demolished in its entirety. Remaining empty until Aria, a local design and furniture retailer purchased it in 2012, held an invited design competition for proposals before taking it through planning approval and now construction on site.
Continue along Upper Street and take the second turn on the right (Almeida Street). Your next destination is on the left.
Walking time 4 minutes
Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street N1 1TA
Built as reading rooms and a lecture hall in 1830s, it was renovated and opened as the Almeida Theatre in 1980. Recent major refurbishment.
Return to Upper Street and continue walking south. Take the passage through the shops on your right, opposite St Mary’s Church, which will take you to your next destination.
Walking time 3 minutes
Islington Square, Esther Anne Place, London N1 1UN
Located in the heart of Islington, the former North London Postal sorting offices were housed in three large Edwardian red brick buildings mostly hidden from view behind the elegant surrounding Georgian streets and Gibson and Milner Squares. The swaggering Grade II listed Post Office fronts Upper Street and becomes a main pedestrian entrance route to the large mixed use conversion and extension of the precinct. Another entrance off Upper Street by the Mitre public house leads to the other pedestrian arcade through to a grand central tree lined boulevard at the core of the development from which many of the commercial functions and residential upper parts are reached.
Return to Upper Street and continue walking south. Turn left to skirt the top of Islington Green. At Essex Road turn left then immediately right down St Peter’s Street, following this until the roundabout, where you turn right into Danbury Street. Your destination is just over the canal bridge to the left, but you’ll get a much better view from the canal bank so turn left onto the towpath just before the bridge.
Walking time 10 minutes
Pollard Thomas Edwards (Diespeker Wharf), 38 Graham Street, London N1 8JX
Diespeker Wharf is on the junction of Regent’s Canal and City Road Basin, occupying a triangle of land on the south bank of City Road Lock. The Wharf was constructed between 1896 and 1914, and the building was initially used as a timber yard. From 1926 it was occupied by an Italian terrazzo manufacturer – Diespeker. The building is three storeys high with a tall chimney. It has a load bearing brick shell with cast iron internal columns. Loading bay flaps and a crane - which you can still see in the courtyard - allowed materials to be lifted from barges. A small railway track was used to bring materials onto the site. It runs under the building and so was presumably in operation before the building was constructed.