19 New Bond Street, City Centre, Bath
19 New Bond Street forms part of a Grade II early 19th century terrace of houses with commercial ground floors, now with a mix of upper residential and office use, situated within the core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the indicative setting of other groups of Grade II early 19th century terraced buildings along New Bond Street, and forms part of the approach to Milsom Street with a high concentration of Grade II and Grade II* buildings. The current shopfront at 19 New Bond Street is attributed to AJ Taylor in 1922, and is an unusual example of an Art Deco-style frontage in marble with a matching treatment of the recessed threshold and plinth. The frontage is currently in poor condition, and until recently was insensitively covered over with a timber fascia.
BPT is generally supportive of the proposed repair works, and we are favourable to the approach of retaining and conserving the shopfront in situ to ensure the stabilisation of existing historic fabric.
It is unfortunate that the building has been allowed to deteriorate to its current condition, particularly the reported condition of the roof valley which has begun to exacerbate issues on the third floor. We maintain the need for a ‘stitch in time’ approach; listed buildings require regular ongoing maintenance in order to prevent smaller issues becoming serious problems in future, often resulting in the irreversible and detrimental loss of historic fabric.
It appears that there has been cumulative damage to the marble fascia from a series of previous signage fixings, such as the pinning of individually mounted letters. We suggest that as part of the proposed restoration and repair works, it may be worth considering what types of signage would be considered appropriate at this premises in future and how this would be accommodated to best mitigate further harm to historic fabric. For instance, a number of fixing holes could be left open for the mounting of future signage to prevent the drilling of new holes and further harm to historic fabric? Alternatively, considering the unusual materiality and Art Deco style of this 1920s shop front, less harmful and more easily reversible forms of signage may be considered, such as freestanding signage incorporated into a tenant’s window display.