21 May, 2011

Dorset - in Bethnal Green

A visit to the Dorset Estate in Bethnal Green. The Dorset Estate is two Y shaped towers with some low rise blocks with a library (closed and maybe never to re-open) and social club. The estate was designed by Skinner, Bailey & Lubetkin and was the first in Bethnal Green to feature high-level blocks, with two 11 storeyed Y-shaped buildings (George Loveless and James Hammett houses) on the north, four 4-storeyed blocks (James Brine House) to the south and two more (Robert Owen and Arthur Wade houses) on the south side of Baroness Road. The estate was officially opened with 266 flats in 1958, marked a change in municipal housing, with the emphasis on height and reinforced concrete. The estate has worn well and has a plaque with the blind beggar of Bethnal Green on the roof. The houses on the Dorset Gardens Estate were named after the Tolpuddle martyrs with Robert Owen House named after the father of coöperation and Arthur Wade House named after a chartist.

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