The Twentieth Century Society is delighted that English Heritage have announced that E M Lander’s Stonemasons Showroom, London has been listed at Grade II. We supported a third-party listing application by the Kensal Triangle Residents’ Association, when the building was threatened by a planning application to the LB Kensington & Chelsea to demolish and replace it with residential flats.
The purpose-built single-storey showroom at 605-609 Harrow Road, located outside the Grade I listed Kensal Green Cemetery, was designed by John Farrer & Sons and dates back to 1927. It has a hipped, clay-tiled roof, cream faience cladding and polished granite entrance columns. The building retains its original layout and is largely unaltered, surviving complete with its external signage and terrazzo lobby floor.
E M Lander (1836-1910) was from a prominent local family of monumental stonemasons, with close ties to the Harrow Road and to Kensal Green Cemetery since its opening in 1834.
Only the second monumental masons’ premises to be listed (the other is John Cramb & Son, Hampstead), the showroom mixes Classical, neo-Georgan and Arts & Crafts styles to project a reassuring image to its clientele.
Twentieth Century Society Conservation Adviser Clare Price said: ‘This is a stunning little gem of a building. Too many of these smaller buildings with important histories are being lost, so we welcome the news that this one has been recognised by listing. It is a rare survival of this type of building, representing a type of architecture which is not grand and monumental, but small and beautifully designed for a specific function.’