Projects: Walker’s Court, Soho

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The Walker’s Court development, on the site of the famous Raymond Revuebar, could help the neighbourhood rediscover some heart

Gentrification is a contentious issue everywhere but if there is any part of central London that can be identified as its front line, it is probably Soho. Historically, Soho has been famed around the world as London’s sleazy pleasure playground, its heady mix of brothels, record shops, tailors, cabaret, pubs and clubs forming the spiritual epicentre of the Swinging Sixties and generally exuding a kind of bawdy yet charming insalubriousness that makes for a very British red light district.

But in the past decade, the pressure of redevelopment and high property prices in London has extended its tentacles through Soho and, in the eyes of many, authentic Soho is slowly but surely losing its soul. When iconic theatre and strip club the Raymond Revuebar closed in 2004, followed by Westminster council revoking the licence of legendary Madame JoJo’s cabaret club next to it a decade later, many people saw this as the final nail in Soho’s coffin. 

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