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Grosvenor takes back Grosvenor Square

By James Wallace - Tuesday, May 08, 2018 13:12

Grosvenor is to re-assume responsibility for the management of Grosvenor Square and plans a major restoration.

Grosvenor has taken back responsibility fro the Square from the Royal Parks.

Grosvenor Square is almost three centuries old. The Grosvenor family began the development of Mayfair with Grosvenor Square as the centre piece of the estate in the 1720s.

For the first 200 years of its existence, Grosvenor Sq was a private gated garden.

Post WW2 in recognition of Grosvenor Square’s significance in Anglo-US relations, the Roosevelt Memorial Act 1946, made the square a public space for everyone's enjoyment. The Ministry of Works took over its upkeep (subsequently the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) which delegated the work to The Royal Parks. In early 2018, the US Embassy relocated to Nine Elms, Battersea.

The square is no longer subject to the significant security measures required by the presence of the US Embassy, following its move to Nine Elms earlier this year. This will enable Grosvenor to begin “working to re-imagine and rejuvenate both the garden and the roads around it to recreate a place fit for the 21st century”.

Grosvenor Square is the second largest garden square in London after Lincoln’s Inn Fields, providing almost 2.5 hectares of open garden. A public consultation of more than 1,000 Londoners was recently conducted which supports Grosvenor’s direction for Grosvenor Square.

Over the summer, Grosvenor will seek input from urban designers, landscape architects, horticulturists, architects, artists and urban visionaries to put forward ideas.

Craig McWilliam, chief executive, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland said: “Our work to date shows that Grosvenor Square has a low profile and that, as a more welcoming and innovative space, would better reflect London’s character and have more appeal. Almost 300 years from its completion we want to reimagine the square for future generations to create a haven where locals and visitors can enjoy the best of the city, whilst making Mayfair more accessible.”

“Our focus is on making our London estate work harder for the capital and all the communities it supports. As we take back management of Grosvenor Square, we will reflect on what Mayfair residents and Londoners told us they want from this great green urban space and call on creative professionals from around the world to bring these responses to life.”

James Wallace is a freelance consultant and can be reached via Linkedin or email: jawallace32@gmail.com

 

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