London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street

late 1860s mission hall and infants' school, converted for synagogue and school use in the 1920s, adapted as a resource centre in the 1990s

London Action Resource Centre - outline history
Contributed by Peter Guillery on Aug. 19, 2016

Built in the late 1860s as a mission room or hall and infants' school. Still a mission hall in 1910, empty in 1921–3, a synagogue by 1929 and still in 1946 (used as a Linus Hazedek & Bikur Cholim, or a hospice for the sick, according to map of synagogues to 1940). Abraham Spitalowitch, tailor, in occupation by 1951, H. J. Victor, leather manufacturers by 1959, back to A. Spital, tailors, in 1967, and empty in 1972–80 (all according to Post Office Directories). Said in conversation to have been used by Jewish anarchists and as a free school around 1910, as a sweatshop by 1970s (when Parfett Street was squatted), then as a warehouse and subsequently left to become derelict. Taken on by Reclaim The Streets in the 1990s and purchased in 2002 for occupation as a charity run by and for a loose array of anarchist groups as the LARC.

Stone-paved entrance vestibule, stairs to W, main block floored with a mezzanine, separate flat-roofed hall to rear, perhaps added in 1920s to form a chevda. Stairs to basement and to upper levels have double iron handrail, possibly to do with hospice use. Back wall of storied block has a pointed arch that looks inserted. Mezzanine railed to open onto back hall – perhaps for women’s gallery during synagogue use. Evidence that back hall had a low pitched roof previously. Outer walls of back hall rebuilt recently, but paired ‘clerestorey’ lights are perhaps an arrangement of the 1920s, blocked to E.

See Mark Kauri's article for the Occupied Times -

Thanks for research help to Tina Papanikolaou and Aikaterina Karadima

62 Fieldgate Street in 2016
Contributed by Derek Kendall

62 Fieldgate Street in 2016 with view down Parfett Street
Contributed by Derek Kendall

62 Fieldgate Street, detail of shopfront with figures by Stik on shutter
Contributed by Derek Kendall

shopfront detail, 62 Fieldgate Street, April 2017
Contributed by Derek Kendall