1780s

Henry Holland, Jr.

Length Closure Ratio (B): 1 to 7.3

Width Closure Ratio (B): 1 to 4.5

Green: 180 ft. x 300 ft. (54.9 x 91.4 m)

Ratio Width to Length (Face to Face): 1:1.6

Face to Face: Width: 272 ft. (82.9 m)

Face to Face: Length: 440 ft. (134.1m)

Height A: 53 ft. (16.2 m)

Height B: 60 ft. (18.3 m)

Hans Place late 1700s

Part of the Hans Town development conceived in 1771 on lands leased from the heirs of Sir Hans Sloane, Hans Place is a rectangular development with clipped corners focused on an oval green, and was laid out as part of a 47 acre tract Holland had held in reserve. Positioning his own house on three of the southern acres, he laid out Hans Place in the manner of a royal pavilion cour d’honneur, with incoming streets through the north east and north west corners and the primary axis of the central oval running directly through the mid point of his home. The oval shape of the resultant green was undoubtedly to gracefully accommodate arriving carriages.

Holland had trained under Capability Browne and actually married Browne’s daughter in 1771. Sir John Soane was one of his helpers. The clipped corners form produces a sense of

Original townhome with probably fourth story later addition.

envelopment and automatic enclosure. The original vertical closure height was quite modest, and you can grasp some sense of the scale of the original by inspecting Number 30. The original low ground floor height reinforced the overall low height, though characteristically, the floor above the ground floor has slightly more generous proportions.

Hans Place was almost totally reinvented in the late 1800s when the 99 year leases rolled over, and the new five story plus basement and attic scale greatly increased the sense of enclosure. Some natives called the new red brick architecture Pont Street Dutch, and it was then in vogue as Lennox Gardens can attest.

The setbacks at five feet from the seven foot wide sidewalks are very modest. One wishes that somehow the form of the building assemblage had been reinforced by the shape of the green. The oval shape of the green actually distracts from the overall sense of unity.

Hans Place

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