The other Harrods!

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Amazingly this is a building I’ve seen barely any mention of in blogs even though it is Harrods!

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Harrods has three depositories that have an elaborate styling. This particular one discussed here is the closest in style to the famous Harrods store.

Architect Charles William Stephens was responsible for the design of 60 Sloane Avenue and Trevor Square as well as the famous store itself. 60 Sloane Avenue was built on the site of a saw mill and some old houses which had been purchased from the Cadogan estate in 1906.

The building today is known simply as 60 Sloane Avenue but was formerly known as the Harrods Motor Car Garage and Workshops. Its not generally known this is ‘Harrods’ unless one goes round to much quieter Draycott Street where ‘Harrods’ and the date 1911 are seen in huge letters.

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The building was intended as a huge car showroom for Harrods. Despite being the same Edwardian broque style as the main Knightsbridge store, this mini version was never used as intended. This is in part due to the onset of the First World War and it was used as a garage.

In that sense it was a useful move because the building stands diagonally opposite Michelin House and both premises ended up having a convivial working relationship. The lower levels were used as a garage whilst the upper levels were for making and storing furniture, upholstery and carpets.

The Second World War also intervened in the history of 60 Sloane Avenue. A substantial part of the historic facade at its northern end was damaged. Even though this was rebuilt it is said the work was an imitation based on the original design rather than a direct restoration and so the building is not completely correct in terms of how it looked historically.

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The entire building has been gutted to provide additional floors with increased retail and office space. It won the British Council for Offices Best In Town Award 1997 and brand new upper levels were added in 2016.

Of the other remaining Harrods buildings, perhaps the best known is that in Barnes known as the Harrods Depository. It was the company’s furniture storage facility. A short distance from Harrods store in Knightsbridge is another known as the Harrods Knightsbridge Depository. This is at 17-20 Trevor Square and was used to store chocolates, clothing and wine. Like that at 60 Sloane Avenue, its quite difficult to photograph as it stands in a very narrow street and its location means its not very well known.

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