Author(s): Chris Rogers
Over 2,000 years of settlement give London its unique architectural heritage. Unlike Haussmann's Paris, neither monarch nor politician imposed their will; private ownership and enterprise shaped the city and defined its parts. Elegant West End squares and crescents hallmark the Classical townscape that emerged between 1600 and 1830, but medieval, Tudor and Victorian enclaves identified by occupation, class or guild make their own design statement, notably in the City and East End. From its renewal after the Great Fire of 1666 as a centre of commerce, culture, finance and as a railway hub, the seat of power and law, How to Read London reveals through the built environment how London's domestic, civic and commercial landscape has evolved and adapted from imperial capital to global city.