The Arcade was constructed in 1879 and connects Old Bond Street with Albemarle Street in the heart of London’s most exclusive shopping district, Mayfair. It is the city’s oldest purpose-built shopping arcade.
Development of an arcade in the area was originally proposed in 1864 as a longer link between Old Bond Street and Regent Street, but was rejected due to the scale of proposed demolition and restriction of access to existing properties. A subsequent redesigned proposal was submitted to its current layout, with The Arcade as it appears today opening in 1879 and replacing the Clarendon Hotel, which had been demolished in 1870.
With its saddled glass roof, richly decorated stucco arches, curved glass window bays and elegant Ionic columns, it was the epitome of Victorian design. The arcade has changed little in the intervening 136 years and retains all its original features. As such, it is a rare opportunity to experience a genuine Victorian arcade is it was intended.
The arcade is hugely popular with shoppers throughout the year, but especially so at Christmas when its impressive architecture makes for a stunning setting for its Christmas decorations. With a new scheme installed for 2015, the arcade really is a magical place to visit, as shown in the gallery below:
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