The Story behind 23-24 Leinster Gardens, W2

Posted on Monday, October 14, 2019

Updated on

Leinster Gardens in Bayswater is a street with a twist, in so much that two of its houses don’t actually exist.

The imposing-looking properties at numbers 23 & 24 are false façades, with thin air behind the 5 feet (1.5 m) thick walls – look closely and you’ll see that the windows are in fact just painted on, and the doors have no letterboxes.

The houses at 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens, were demolished to build a tunnel connecting Paddington station with Bayswater. The Underground uses this open-topped portion of the line to ventilate a large section of the surrounding Tube system, but the sacrificed homes were never reconstructed. This left a rather unsightly hole in an otherwise very sightly block of Empire 5-Story houses.  

And so, a false façade was constructed to conceal the wound.  It matches its neighbours in every important detail, except that the windows are painted on, rather than being made of glass. They did a really nice job; you could live in that neighbourhood for years, walking by this address frequently, and still not notice the deception if you’re not looking for it

From the back of the block, however, you can see what’s going on. The houses on either side are braced against each other by a number of sturdy steel struts, and the Underground tracks are visible. 

Front View

 

Back View