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Description: Eastman Dental Hospital (Former Eastman Dental Clinic)
Date Listed: 20 August 2007
English Heritage Building ID: 495934
OS Grid Reference: TQ3072282454
OS Grid Coordinates: 530722, 182454
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5259, -0.1170
798-1/0/10344 GRAYS INN ROAD
Eastman Dental Hospital (Former Eastma
n Dental Clinic)
Dental clinic. Built 1928-30 to the design of Sir John Burnet and Partners. Late C20 alterations including window replacement.
MATERIALS: Steel-frame construction clad in brown brick with Portland stone dressings.
PLAN: 2 storeys high, with central block of 7 bays flanked by lower 3-bay cross wings; these have additional mezzanine floor over raised basement. Central cruciform entrance hall with small rooms set within angles of cross. Large waiting room to left leads through to N wing; central corridor to right has large rooms to either side and leads through to S wing and staircases. Room plan of each wing differs and has been altered. Upper floor of central block is large open-plan treatment room, originally for children. N wing much altered internally and interlinked with adjoining hospital buildings.
EXTERIOR: Symmetrical façade in restrained, Beaux-Arts influenced Classical style. Central 7-bay block has arcaded ground floor with keystones, of which central 3 bays form engaged portico with taller central arch carried on Tuscan columns. Arches to 2 flanking bays are linked by plain impost bands and have recessed windows and tympana with herringbone brickwork and stone lozenge motif. Groin-vaulted porch. Entrance has moulded stone architrave and dentilled cornice. Tympanum has carved stone cartouche with figure of mother and child, flanked by cornucopiae, enclosed within glazed fanlight. Panelled double doors with brass letterboxes with owl motif; rectangular fanlight. Arched window bays flanking entrance, and to inner porch sides have same decorative treatment as ground-floor windows. Steps to entrance. Ashlar area walls to central recessed block continue flush with stone-faced basement of the flanking wings. Entrance flanked by pedestals with sculptures of seated boys. Ironwork has gone. Wings have three windows, plus window to inner return; those to ground floor and mezzanine are set within continuous vertical recesses with stone aprons to upper windows. String course between floors. Upper-floor windows have plain reveals. Original steel Crittall windows have been replaced. Rear elevation plainly finished.
INTERIOR: Glazed timber inner doors lead through to a vaulted entrance hall with original fittings and decorative finishes. Art deco suspended wooden light fittings with decorative etched glass lights depicting owl. Walls lined with buff polished marble with gold fluted friezes; black marble bands to door surrounds, entrance fanlight and above skirtings. Above the doors (on the E side) and windows (on the W side) of the four corner rooms of the entrance hall are inset bas-relief panels of children playing. Floor of inlaid coloured marble with large central geometric pattern in form of an eight-pointed star within a circle, complementing the central circular compartment of the ceiling above. Waiting room to N has oak dado panelling with patterned frieze, black ebonised skirtings and door surrounds. Octagonal timber-clad columns to each corner supporting angles of coved ceiling. Gold fluted frieze to walls and column heads. Open-well stairs to side wings have solid, staggered balustrades with bronze handrails. Large first-floor treatment room refurbished in 1990 and has a suspended ceiling. A number of original glazed timber doors survive. Interior not fully inspected, but many areas have been modernised. N wing interior damaged by bomb in 1944 and has no visible features of special interest other than the stair.
HISTORY: Built 1928-31 as the Eastman Dental Clinic, then part of the former Royal Free Hospital which stands to the north. The principal benefactor was the philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of the Eastman Kodak Co,who had built the Rochester Dental Dispensary, New York, in 1917. This was under the directorship of Dr Harvey J Burkhart (1864-1946), one of the founding fathers of modern dental public health who promoted preventive dentistry based on the tenets of from childhood, oral hygiene and dietary care. The clinic, whose planning resembled the Rochester Dispensary, provided free dental care for the people of Holborn, St Pancras, Finsbury and Islington, and three wards for oral, ear nose and throat, cleft lip and palate surgery. In 1947-8 the Eastman became primarily a postgraduate teaching and research establishment.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Of special interest as a purpose-built specialist clinic which played a major role in the development of modern public dental healthcare in the UK on principles pioneered in the USA. It is a late work of the distinguished architect Sir John Burnet, in partnership with Thomas Tait, an elegant composition in the French American Beaux-Arts tradition with good surviving interior decoration in the Moderne style.
The former Royal Free Hospital to the north does not form part of the listing.
SOURCES: The Builder, 12 December 1930, pp 994, 998, 1000-1003
AS Gray, Edwardian Architecture, 1985, pp 128-132
Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, Report 1992, NBR No 101084.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.