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History

Below, five stories from the history of Luxborough Tower. We welcome further articles, pictures and stories about the Tower. If required, download Adobe Acrobat for PDF files (www).


1) The St Marylebone Workhouse

Luxborough Tower and the University of Westminster are built on the site of the old St Marylebone Workhouse. This classic image of life inside comes from a booklet written by Alan Neate and published by the St Marylebone Society. inside the Workhouse with men sitting to eat in rows

Luxborough Lodge was the later name for the Workhouse. This image shows the front of the building facing the Marylebone Road.

front of the old Workhouse facing Marylebone Road

2) The old Workhouse is closed in 1965

So ends a historic chapter in the social history of this part of London. The site of this large old home has filled an important place in the neighbourhood for over 200 years. Read a London County Council Welfare Committee report on the closing of the old Workhouse (PDF) as it passed from the control of the LCC to Westminster City Council in 1965.


3) London County Council architects

Luxborough Tower, a fine example of 20th century architecture, was proposed in 1965 on the site of the old Marylebone Workshouse. It was designed by the architects’ department of the London County Council and strongly influenced by Le Corbusier. Read a longer account of the architects who designed Luxborough Tower (PDF). Thanks to Alex Reid for this post.


4) the forms of architecture dominate

An account of the history of the Polytechnic next door (now the University of Westminster) says that their new Marylebone Road building was completed, after considerable delays, in 1970. There was an opening ceremony with Lord Hailsham in 1971.

The Architectural Review for January 1971 has a long article about the national programme for building new Polytechnics, focusing on the exciting contemporary architecture of our neighbour:

At the head of the steps from Luxborough Street 'the forms of the architecture dominate'. On the right in the teaching block 'like is grouped with like'. On the left 'all the non-repetitive elements are extracted and ingeniously fitted together in a communal block.

view from Luxborough Street of the two towers behind the Polytechnic   an architect's plan of the Polytechnic site

5) Moving In

An early resident says, We moved to Luxborough Tower in 1969. It took over a year for the block to get filled with tenants. I remember we thought the sound-proofing was good, but everything else was very basic. I was delighted to have a view of the large red model of Tatlin's Tower next door, displayed on one of the raised mezzanine levels of the Polytechnic. See the Tatlin's Tower wikipedia entry (www).

Tatlin's tower rebuilt in front of the Royal Academy a piece of text explaining what Tatlin's tower was

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Luxborough Tower: view of the front