Covent Garden

Henrietta Street - South

Henrietta Street - South

This street, named in honour of Charles I’s Queen in 1637, dates entirely from the 18th and 19th centuries; nothing remains of its 17th century buildings. Henrietta Street was laid out between 1631-4, and originally the frontages along its south side were aligned with the Piazza front of Bedford House garden, the easternmost house lying against the garden wall. After the demolition of Bedford House, three new houses were built on this corner. Many of the street’s houses were rebuilt during the first half of the 18th century, and some of their sites amalgamated on rebuilding a century later. (See South Side of Piazza sheet for details of 2-4 Henrietta Street).

5-6 Henrietta Street: Chi-Chi’s Restaurant
The stucco is well painted in cream and white. The temporary sign stretched over the top of the window arches detracts from the special interest of the building and should be removed. The projecting hanging sign and the lettered signs on the window glass are perfectly adequate and no further advertisement is necessary in this location.

7-8 Henrietta Street
These handsome facades are well maintained and appropriately painted. A small detail concerns the gold tops to the area railings: this is unhistorical and they would be better omitted and all the railings painted uniformly.

9 Henrietta Street: Dorling Kindersley, Publishers
The shop front is well designed and smartly painted. The black and gold painted sign with its carefully chosen ‘Art’ lettering is excellent, and should act as an inspiration for other signs in the street. Nothing needs to be done here by way of further improvement.

10 Henrietta Street: Rohan
The dark green painted shop front is handsome, and the gold lettering on the window glass acceptable, but the projecting box sign and the small box sign in the centre of the entablature could be improved. A full width properly lettered fascia sign would be more appropriate for the entablature here. The stucco of the upper part of the facade is well-painted in stone and white.

11 Henrietta Street: Rickshaws’ Restaurant
This is well-maintained and painted but the sign on the entablature would be improved if it were arranged symmetrically to fill the full width of the building, rather than the present lop-sided treatment.

12 - 13 Henrietta Street
This handsome building has been well-restored and is well-maintained. The gold street numbers on the sky light and the gold lettered solicitors’ signs in the ground floor window are a good traditional treatment. The upper part of the facade has iron window guards for flower boxes which it might be worth reinstating.

14 Henrietta Street: Victor Golancz
The preserved Victorian shop front is appropriately painted and the written sign on the entablature is a model of how to do this kind of thing, employing good lettering, carefully arranged to occupy the full width of the fascia. The white brick of the upper part of the facade is rather dingy and would benefit from careful cleaning. The projecting ledges and iron guards at first and second floor levels were designed to display flower boxes which it would be worth reinstating if the opportunity arises.

15- 16 Henrietta Street
The shop front at No. 16 is well-maintained and appropriately painted. But that at No. 15, the Citizens Advice Bureau offers considerable scope for improvement. The signs in the window are an eyesore and the insertion of the subsidiary door into the shop front is crudely arranged. The signs should be removed from the shop window and a painted, lettered sign inserted in the proper place on the entablature over the shop window. The main door is currently picked out in white and blue. It would look better if it were painted uniformly in the dark blue.

17-18 Henrietta Street: Porters Restaurant
The frontage with its ceramic tile surround has been handsomely restored. The name signs are well integrated into the entablature, and there is also a good hanging pictorial sign on an elaborate wrought iron bracket. The temporary plastic bunting, however, detracts from an otherwise well maintained frontage, The hanging summer baskets are appropriate on a restaurant like this, but could be more lavishly planted. The current approach to building lighting could also be reviewed in accordance with the guidelines.

19 Henrietta Street
This handsome building on the corner of Bedford Street would have benefited from the retention of sash window glazing bars. The unusual neo-Georgian ‘shop front’ with Corinthian pilasters and Venetian windows is a design of some quality. It is currently stained and varnished hardwood but would benefit from being painted a strong dark traditional colour. There is also scope for a symmetrical arrangement of painted classic lettering on the entablature. The stucco of the upper part of the building is attractively painted in pale blue and white which introduces a cheerful note.

Covent Garden Area Trust
42 Earlham St, The 7 Dials Club, London WC2H 9LA
Tel: 020 7497 9245 |
Registered Charity No: 299874. Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Registered No: 02280893.

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