The History of 124 Baker Street

  • Located in the Marylebone district of London, Baker Street is named after William Baker, the builder who laid the street during the 18th Century. Its eponymous tube station was one of the original stations on the Metropolitan Railway, the world’s first underground railway, which opened in 1863. With ten platforms, Baker Street has the most of any London tube station.

In 1900 a bill was approved to construct the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway, which would run entirely underground from Marylebone to Elephant & Castle via Baker Street and Waterloo. The railway opened in 1906 and was gradually expanded to form the modern-day Bakerloo underground line.

Over the course of its history, Baker Street has had a number of famous residents. Novelists H. G. Wells and Arnold Bennett lived in prestigious mansion block Chiltern Court at the Regent’s Park end of the street. Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger resided at 120 Baker Street from 1803-1804, and Dusty Springfield called the street home during the 1960s.

In 1967 The Beatles opened Apple Boutique at 94 Baker Street, a shop selling mainly clothes and accessories. According to Paul McCartney, the band’s aim was to create ‘a beautiful place where beautiful people can buy beautiful things’. Design collective The Fool painted a psychedelic mural over the building’s facades, which remained there for around six months before Westminster City Council ordered The Beatles to paint over it. The shop was a financial disaster and was open for less than a year, eventually making a loss of £200,000.

In 1971, Lloyds bank on Baker Street was the victim of one of Britain’s most daring bank raids. The perpetrators stole £500,000 – now worth £5 million – and the crime was never solved. The robbery was the subject of 2008 film The Bank Job, which explores the popular theory that the raid was set up by MI5 in order to recover sexually compromising photos of Princess Margaret from the bank’s vaults.

Baker Street has a colourful past, yet nothing epitomises it quite like its literary hero and most famous resident Sherlock Holmes. The detective lived with his assistant Dr Watson at 221B Baker Street, an address which didn’t exist at the time Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the Holmes stories. Over the years the real-life buildings have been renumbered, and now the Sherlock Holmes Museum stands at 221B.

However, the museum is technically not located at number 221. In fact, 221 Baker Street still doesn’t exist. A large block of buildings spans numbers 219-229 and was originally occupied by the Abbey National Building Society. From the day Abbey National opened in 1932 it was inundated with letters from all over the world addressed to Mr Sherlock Holmes. The number of letters was so vast that the building society employed a full time secretary to respond to them. Many of them were requests for help with solving mysteries, to which the secretary replied that Mr Holmes had retired to a life of beekeeping in the Sussex countryside.

Big fan of the area? Well what if we told you we have a brand new office located at 124 Baker Street? Please contact us for more details.

Each area of London has its unique history that’s waiting to be discovered and it’s always something we look out for when choosing an office location. We currently have a number of managed offices in Soho that are ready for you and your business.

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