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View of Dover Street looking northwards towards Grafton Street.


Dover Street is a street in Mayfairmarker, Londonmarker, Englandmarker. The street is notable for its Georgian architecture as well as the location of historic London clubs and hotels, which have been frequented by world leaders and historic figures in the arts. It also hosts a number of contemporary art galleries. An Elizabeth Frink sculpture stands on its junction with Piccadillymarker, opposite the Ritz Hotelmarker.

History

Example of Georgian architecture in Dover Street
Dover Street was built by a syndicate of developers headed by Sir Thomas Bond. The syndicate purchased a Piccadilly mansion called Clarendon Housemarker from Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle in 1683 and proceeded to demolish the house and develop the area. At that time the house backed onto open fields and the development of the various estates in Mayfair was just getting underway. The syndicate also built Bond Streetmarker and Albemarle Streetmarker.

Anne Lister (1791–1840), a notable Victorian thespian, liked to stay at Hawkins, 26 Dover Street.

Edward Moxon moved from premises he had established in 1830 in New Bond Street to 44 Dover Street. He published Wordsworth from 1835 onwards and in 1839 issued the first complete edition of Shelley's poems. In 1841, he was found guilty of blasphemy for passages in Shelley's Queen Mab.

Brown's Hotelmarker (then termed a "genteel inn") was established in 1837 by James Brown, Lord Byron's valet, who took a lease on 23 Dover Street to cater for those who were in town "for the Season". He ran it with his wife, Sarah Willis, the personal maid of Lady Byron, who gave financial support. The hotel was later enlarged and joined with backing premises on Albemarle Street. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call in Britain from the hotel. In 1890, The International Niagara Commission met in the hotel and their decision on distributing "Niagara power" subsequently led to the adoption of the alternating current worldwide. Other guests have included Napoleon III, Theodore Roosevelt (at the time of his marriage), Rudyard Kipling and Agatha Christie (her book At Bertram's Hotel is based on Brown's).

Oliver Wendell Holmes in Our Hundred Days in Europe records staying at Mackellar's Hotel, 17 Dover Street, where "we found ourselves comfortably lodged and well cared for during the whole time we were in London".

Green Park tube stationmarker was originally known as Dover Street station, but was renamed in 1933 after refurbishments to install escalators, when its entrance no longer opened onto Dover Street.

Clubs

The street is historically and currently the location of a number of well-known London clubs, although the oldest and most fashionable London clubs are located in St James'smarker and Pall Mallmarker:

  • The Albemarle Club, originally in Albemarle Street nearby, was relocated to 37 Dover Street before its closure.
  • The Arts Club, founded by Charles Dickens and others in 1863, originally in Hanover Square, has been located at 40 Dover Street since 1893. Whistler's decision to sue John Ruskin was made on the premises.
  • The Bath Club, where Mark Twain breakfasted.
  • The Capisce Club, 1 Dover Street, was formerly a nightclub and restaurant.
  • Mahikimarker, 1 Dover Street, is a nightclub and bar, with a Polynesian and tiki theme, predominantly specialising in rum. Often frequented by celebrities and Royalty, including Prince William and Andrew Evans.


And a fictional one:

  • The Drones Club, the gentlemen's club of many of P. G. Wodehouse's novels, was located on Dover Street, off Piccadilly.


Galleries

Art galleries in the street include:

  • The Alexia Goethe Gallery, 5–7 Dover Street, showing work by leading 20th century artists including Kees van Dongen, Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso
  • The CCA Galleries, 8 Dover Street — originally Christies Contemporary Art and now an independent company publishing prints
  • The Air Gallery, 32 Dover Street, hires its premises for shows
  • Richard Green, 39 Dover Street (Green is noted for his discoveries of overlooked Old Master paintings)
  • The Piccadilly Gallery, 43 Dover Street
  • The Portal Gallery, also 43 Dover Street (represents Beryl Cook)
  • The Institute of Contemporary Artsmarker (ICA) was initially in Dover Street, but relocated to The Mallmarker in 1968.




Location

The street lies in the south of Mayfair in the West Endmarker. To the south-east, the street adjoins the major thoroughfare of Piccadillymarker. To the north-west, it continues as Grafton Street. To the north-east is Albemarle Streetmarker, running parallel with Dover Street and the location of the Royal Institutionmarker. South-west is Berkeley Streetmarker (adjoining Berkeley Squaremarker to the north), also running in parallel.

The nearest tube station is Green Parkmarker.

References

Sources consulted


Endnotes


External links




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