Lansdowne House

Coordinates: 51°30′30″N 0°8′44″W / 51.50833°N 0.14556°W / 51.50833; -0.14556

Lansdowne House is a building to the southwest of Berkeley Square in central London, England. It was designed by Robert Adam as a private house and for most of its time as a residence it belonged to the Petty family, Marquesses of Lansdowne. Since 1935, it has been the home of the Lansdowne Club. The positioning of the property was rather unusual. It had a large front garden occupying the whole of the southern side of the square, which it faced side on. This arrangement gave Devonshire House on Piccadilly an open aspect to the square.

Famous former owners or residents of Lansdowne House include:

  • John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, British Prime Minister (1762-63)
  • William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne (later 1st Marquess of Lansdowne), British Prime Minister (1782-83)
  • William Pitt the Younger, British Prime Minister (1783-1801, 1804-1806)
  • William Waldorf Astor, 1st Viscount, Richest man in America at the time (1891-1893)
  • Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, was a British Liberal statesman and Prime Minister (1894 - 1895)
  • Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of the Selfridges department store

In the 1930s, the local council decided to construct a road link from Berkeley Square to Curzon Street. This necessitated the removal of all the front rooms of Lansdowne House. Adam's Drawing Room was removed and installed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Dining Room went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The house's collections, such as the Lansdowne Amazon and the Lansdowne Hercules, were also bought by American museums. The facade was rebuilt in a modified form at the front of the truncated house.

A large office block was built on the front garden on the southern edge of the square at what is now Nos. 55–59 Berkeley Square. This new building inherited the name of the old house, while the address No. 9 Fitzmaurice Place still points to the original location, where the Lansdowne Club is now undergoing extensive renovations begun in 2000.

On 1 May 1935, the Lansdowne Club opened as a 'social, residential and athletic Club for members of social standing…'.

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