Saturday, 2 March 2013

Whither the Bookstore?

Founded in 1903 by William and Gilbert Foyle, this is an archive picture of their 1906 store at 135 Charing Cross Road. It is noticeable that there is but a single woman in the pic: she stands outside looking back at the doorway with her two little boys facing us while her husband is inside shopping for the books. On the fascia, I love the quote marks used to stress the double meaning of the word novel.

Foyles, now at 113-119 Charing Cross Road and with lots of branches, has recently taken on the beautiful art deco building nearby that was formerly occupied by Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design and will move in later this year. The architects are Lifschutz DavidsonSandilands (and hat tip to them for their beautiful Golden Jubilee Bridges (the Hungerford Bridge) in 2002.   

All thanks to © Foyle Archive and The Economist (and read their article A Real Cliffhanger) for the pic.


  1. Thanking you. I can't quite believe that shops (or suits) used to look like that . . . :D