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Latitude: 51.5288 / 51°31'43"N
Longitude: -0.129 / 0°7'44"W
OS Eastings: 529884
OS Northings: 182762
OS Grid: TQ298827
Mapcode National: GBR H6.64
Mapcode Global: VHGQS.QT5V
Entry Name: Levita House Including Attached Shops and Somers Town Coffee House
Listing Date: 13 December 1996
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1113232
English Heritage Legacy ID: 477682
Location: Camden, London, NW1
Electoral Ward/Division: St Pancras and Somers Town
Built-Up Area: Camden
Traditional County: Middlesex
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London
Church of England Parish: St Pancras with St James and Christ Church St Pancras
Church of England Diocese: London
OSSULSTON STREET (West side)
Levita House including attached shops and Somers Town Coffee House
Includes: Nos.16A-76A Levita House, attached shops, screen and Somers Town Coffee House CHALTON STREET.
Blocks of council flats and attached shops and coffee house/tavern forming part of the Ossulston Estate; frontages to Ossulston Street, Chalton Street and Weir's Passage. 1930-31. To the designs of the LCC Architect's Department under G Topham Forrest. Flats and shops: load-bearing brickwork rendered with coloured roughcast, channelled to ground floor to appear as stone; reinforced concrete balconies. Hipped pantiled roofs with dormers and tall chimney-stacks.
PLAN: central spine on north-south axis with four diagonal spines from angles joined to north and south blocks to form enclosed courtyards; enclosed courtyard to west, open to east.
EXTERIOR: five and four storeys plus attics. Windows mostly flush framed sashes with exposed boxing. Balconies designed to make the voids above them read as holes punched in the building. Eastern range has central courtyard block of ground floor portico with outer bays of projecting balconies and inner bays of flush rectangular balconies grouped 2:3:2 to three upper floors; top floor has round-arched voids. Diagonal flanking wings have alternating canted bays.
North and south-eastern facing blocks with central round-arched vehicle entrances above which long rectangular voids with bowed fronts; top floor of three round-arched voids and central projecting semicircular balcony, all with cast-iron balustrade. Flanking bays of long rectangular voids with three vertical slits beneath each. Outer bays of paired sashes in shallow full height recesses. Other facades are variations to this style using voids, axes and massing to effect; southern facade has Lombardic frieze to parapet.
Western courtyard is enclosed by a range of single storey shops with central fluted Doric screen flanked by pillars having fielded finials to angles. Coffee house/tavern: the Somers Town Coffee House on Chalton Street forms the southern part of the entrance to the northern courtyard. 1927-8, believed to be by Halsey Ricardo. Rendered and painted brickwork. Pantiled hipped roof with tall chimney-stacks, dormers and coved cornice to projecting eaves. Two storeys, attic and cellars. Five windows and four window left hand return. Public house frontage of central transom and mullion window with small panes flanked by similar windows with central part-glazed doors. First floor slightly recessed sashes with exposed boxing.
INTERIOR: not inspected.
HISTORICAL NOTE: despite policy to house as many Londoners as possible on outlying cottage estates, pressure of waiting lists and urgency of slum clearance forced Cecil Levita, Chairman of the LCC Housing Committee to review the situation. The Ossulston Estate is the most important inner-city estate of the inter-war period, representing the most considered attempt by the LCC to inject new thinking into inner-city housing estates. It was influenced in particular by Viennese housing models and was innovative in terms of layout and elevation.
This complex forms a group with Chamberlain House, Phoenix Road (qv) and the southern block of Walker House, Phoenix Road including The Cock Tavern (qv).
Listing NGR: TQ2988482762
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