Heritage Asset Flattened: Jewish Maternity Hospital, Bethnal Green

On Friday 13th January the former Jewish Maternity Hospital in Underwood Road, Bethnal Green, one of east London’s key buildings from the philanthropic era of the early 20th-century, was flattened for redevelopment by its owners one of London’s oldest housing associations founded in 1862 by American philanthropist George Peabody, the Peabody Housing Association. The hospital, formerly in council ownership, had been sold to Peabody by Tower Hamlets Council for redevelopment as affordable housing.

It was a handsome Arts and Crafts building designed by John Myers and built in 1911. Constructed in red brick, with a

distinctive crow-stepped gable, the original doors and ironwork remained. It formed an important part of the streetscape (this was even acknowledged by the council) and represented an important survival in an area which has suffered badly from clearance and insensitive development over the past few decades. English Heritage were asked to list the building as it was the only surviving Jewish maternity hospital in England, and the only purpose built building in Tower Hamlets directly associated with Alice Model.  However, English Heritage declined the request.

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