Cubitt, Seth Smith, Freake
Length Closure Ratio (B): 1 to 27.3
Width Closure Ratio (B): 1 to 6.5
Ratio Width to Length (Face to Face): 1 to 4.2
Face to Face: Width: 382 ft. (116.4 m)
Face to Face: Length: 1610 ft. (490.7 m)
Height A: 53.5 ft. (16.3 m)
Height B: 59 ft. (18 m)
4.5 average stories
Eaton Square is the longest of the Belgravian squares, and as Hermione Hobhouse opined, “Eaton Square is not really a square at all.” Rather, it is an important roadway flanked by large greens on either side; it is more of an elaborate multiway boulevard, and worth study from that point of view alone.
Unlike Cadogan and Cadogan Gardens, the overall length is divided into smaller blocks, and the scale of the green on each side is more intimate. Thomas Cubitt signed a development agreement with Lord Grosvenor in 1825, the same year that Thomas Cundy I, surveyor and visionary for the Grosvenor lands, died. Unlike Cubitt’s other large square in the area, Belgrave Square, there was no great effort expended to have truly unified ranges. The assembly of greens is terminated by St. Peter’s church, designed by Henry Hakewill. The church lies at the north-east end and is set in the Grecian style. Lord Grosvenor lobbied extensively for the church to aid development, and laid its foundation stone in 1824.
The North side of the square was developed generally by Cubitt’s firm — the section immediate to the church bring erected between 1826 and 1830. The dwellings there were composed of stock brick facades with thin stucco pilasters with a ground floor covering of stucco, reminiscent of Cubitt’s work elsewhere at the time.
By 1830, Cubitt shifted to a more elaborate approach as evidenced in the central terrace on the north side. Entirely faced in stucco, this section framed a central portico of freestanding two story Corinthian columns and was further graced by a continuous arcade of Doric columns somewhat reminiscent of Jefferson’s University of Virginia Lawn scheme. The last leases in the central terrace were not executed until 1847. A continuous balcony at the third story above the ground floor further unified the block.
Around 1840, Cubitt bowed to market tastes and framed his third terrace in a strong Italianate style, using stucco to create composition ornamentation. Finally, Cubitt’s office had to take over the western section of the north side where the original builder had failed.
Seth Smith moved forward on the south side of Eaton Square as early as 1825, beginning with the western and middle divisions. By 1830, Smith had started the eastern section of the south side, but work in other parts of Belgravia as well as a housing recession that stretched from 1826 to 1835, hindered his progress. Charles James Freake ended up completing section in both the southern central block as well as the more western terrace.