“The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.”*

*Federico Fellini

Nikolaus Pevsner asserted that “The former Pearl Assurance buildings (pictured) are the only effort in High Holborn to achieve Edwardian grandeur.”

From the website Hidden London: “Holborn, Camden/City”:

“…the terracotta fortress of Holborn Bars, built for the Prudential Assurance Company by Sir Alfred Waterhouse and his son Paul over the last quarter of the 19th century (is) now De Vere Holborn Bars.

Prudential’s rival the Pearl Assurance Company also chose Holborn for its headquarters, which was built in several stages over several decades, beginning in 1912. The building is now Rosewood London, a luxury hotel with a well-reviewed restaurant.

The company was founded in 1857 as The Pearl Loan Company and operated from the Royal Oak Public House opposite the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. It changed its name to The Pearl Assurance Company in 1914, when it moved to 252 High Holborn where it was based until moving its head office to Peterborough in 1989. In 1990, it was acquired by the Australian insurance group, AMP…”

From the website Eventopedia:

“Construction of what is now the Grade II listed Rosewood London began in 1912. The central block was designed by C. Newman and built between 1912 and 1919 while the east block…was designed by P Moncton and built between 1929 and 1930 in Edwardian and Belle Epoque style.

 Construction of the building continued for the next 50 years – The south-east extension was designed by Bates & Sinning and built between 1954 and 1956 and the west block…was designed by Bates & Sinning and built between 1959 and 1960. Throughout this time span, the building remained as headquarters for the Pearl Assurance Company and quickly became one of the most prominent structures in London’s downtown district.

Under the supervision of English Heritage, the Pearl Assurance Company building was soon after transformed into one of London’s most prized luxury hotels, opened in 2000 by Marriott International under its Renaissance Hotels brand as the Renaissance Chancery Court. Keeping many aspects of the building intact, the principal facades, East and West Banking Hall interiors, and the Grand Staircase were left to exude a historical identity…

 The hotel closed again 13 years later for renovations leading to a planned reopening in October 2013 as the Rosewood London Hotel…”

From Wikipedia:

The hotel was a filming location for The Saint (1997), and The Politician’s Wife (1995).”

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