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Alex Pink’s Fournier St, Then & Now

June 27, 2013
by the gentle author

No street in the East End has seen a greater transformation than Fournier St, where once were shabby clothing factories, sweatshops and furriers, are now immaculately appointed mansions. In this final part of the collaboration with Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archive, Spitalfields Life Contributing Photographer Alex Pink selected photographs  from the collection and then took a stroll from Christ Church to Brick Lane to review the changes that conservation has brought.

19 Fournier St, 1975

19 Fournier St, 2013

20 Fournier St, 1975

20 Fournier St, 2013

21 Fournier St, 1975

21 Fournier St, 2013

27 Fournier St, 1975

27 Fournier St, 2013

29 Fournier St, 1975

29 Fournier St, 2013

33 Fournier St, 1975

33 Fournier St, 2013

37 Fournier St, 1975

37 Fournier St, 2013

39 Fournier St, 1975

39 Fournier St, 2013

Archive images courtesy Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

New photographs copyright © Alex Pink

Visit Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives for opening times, collections & events.

You may also like to read these other Fournier St stories

Rodney Archer, Aesthete

Jonathan Miller in Fournier St

David Kira, Banana Merchant

A Fireplace in Fournier St

All Change at 15 & 17 Fournier St

All Change at 27 Fournier St

Before & After in Fournier St

A Renovation in Fournier St

The Wallpapers of Spitalfields

The Secret Gardens of Spitalfields

18 Responses leave one →
  1. John Montague permalink
    June 27, 2013

    Thanks for a great “before and after” showing a fantastic street.

  2. Pamela permalink
    June 27, 2013

    Loving the doors at #29.

  3. Paul Kelly permalink
    June 27, 2013

    Amazing to think how that not so long ago these buildings went for peanuts and that now the cost to buy would run into millions of pounds.

  4. Greg Tingey permalink
    June 27, 2013

    Fournier Street has many “listed” buildings & should, therefore be on the “Images of England” web-site & data-base. {(I know, because I took several of the pictures)
    However, a quick search came up empty, since their serch-engine seems defective.
    Most annoying

  5. Mick Lemmerman permalink
    June 27, 2013

    “No street in the East End has seen a greater transformation than Fournier St”. I guess that depends on one’s definition of “transformation”. Fournier St is still recognizable as the street it was 50 or 100 years ago. There are literally thousands of other streets in the East End which are not in this fortunate position. Surely their transformation is greater?

  6. Deborah permalink
    June 27, 2013

    Beautiful – I love walking down Fournier Street – unfortunately I cannot resist the urge to look in some of those downstairs windows in passing….(sorry people!) – but it’s like being transported to a bygone era.

  7. aubrey permalink
    June 27, 2013

    A fine example of gentrification.

  8. June 27, 2013

    One of your best posts yet. The before shots are exactly how I remembered the area, when I first visited it in 1975. It’s interesting to see that some of the shutters were pressed into use as adverts for the shops.

  9. Peter Holford permalink
    June 27, 2013

    A before and after set where you can see it’s the same place! This is a positive story and perhaps it should be put in front of the planning committee every time a developer (or a museum!) want to demolish a significant old building.

  10. Jo N permalink
    June 27, 2013

    Really fascinating – especially to see how many of the features which appear ‘period’ weren’t there 40 years ago!

  11. Elisabeth Steinhauser-Gleinser permalink
    June 27, 2013

    Wow, wonderful, well done!

  12. A granny permalink
    June 27, 2013

    I find your site absolutely fascinating! What an interesting way to present history! The photographer of 2013 must have chosen a trash pick-up day to take his pictures, judging by the plastic bags sitting by doorways! That’s part of history also, I think.

  13. Jo Rial permalink
    July 3, 2013

    Thank you for this, I feel quite emotional. As a kiddy when I lived in Brick Lane, I used to accompany my mum to work at D. Symonds in the late 60s and very early 70s. Very happy memories, he was a lovely and elegant man.

  14. November 24, 2014

    Just a wonderful street and so well brought back to life without looking over refurbished!

  15. October 23, 2015

    Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for
    information about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon so
    far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you positive in regards
    to the source?

  16. teaurn permalink
    June 1, 2016

    Great post, but I think the now / then pics for number 29 are not the right house. The now pic for number 29 is shown as the now pic for number 27.

  17. Tony Jones permalink
    August 2, 2017

    My grandfather was discharged at the age of 14 from South Metropolitan District School in Banstead, Surrey in July 1897 to ‘Mrs Gousens W Boys Home Fournier Street, Spitalfields’
    Does anyone know which building this was and what the ‘W’ stood for please?

  18. Stuart Ladds permalink
    April 21, 2018

    The W in Mrs Gousens W Boys Home stood for Working

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