Another short trip to London this week. On business this time, but I found some time to seek out an Art Deco masterpiece a short walk from Euston Station.
The former Carreras cigarette factory was built in 1926-28 on what had been a semi-circular park on Mornington Crescent. Obliterating the green space in front of a Georgian crescent would probably not be allowed in this day and age, but it clearly wasn’t a problem in the 1920’s!
The architects were Marcus Evelyn Collins and Owen Hyman Collins with A G Porri and Partners as consultant. The Egyptian style of the building was fashionable at the time, following the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter.
Production ceased in 1959 and the building was converted into offices and many of it’s distinctive features removed. But it was renovated in the late 1990’s and most of the original decoration was recreated.
It’s a massive building and impossible to get a shot that includes all of it, but there is a photograph of the factory and it’s environs here.
There are 10 columns in the central bays with Egyptian style decoration
Two giant black cats flank the entrance (the black cat was used as a logo by the cigarette company)
There are cat motifs high up below the upper storey windows
And the name of the original occupants is spelled out in “Egyptian style” lettering