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Fitzrovia is a central district of London known for its quiet, wealthy residential streets as well as the advertising and media hub of Charlotte Street.
Charles Fitzroy intended the area to attract a high class of resident, and Robert Adam was commissioned to design Fitzroy Square, built in Portland Stone. However the upper classes preferred Belgravia and Mayfair, leaving Fitzrovia to immigrants and London's poorer artisans, artists and prostitutes. George Bernard Shaw lived in Fitzroy Square for eleven years.
In the early part of the 20th Century, Fitzrovia and neighbouring Bloomsbury became important in literary circles as the home of the Bloomsbury Group, which included Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster.
Today, there are more doctors than writers, with Harley Street, University College London Hospital and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases all very close by, although the much loved Middlesex Hospital was demolished in 2008 to make way for a new luxury development.
Now known as the BT Tower, this alien landmark was for many years the tallest structure in Britain. Built to transmit microwave communications, at 620 feet it is high enough to beam signals over the Chiltern Hills.
The tower was constructed between 1961 and 1965, at the height of Cold War fears. Its round design was chosen to best withstand a nuclear blast: the only buildings left standing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were round.
A revolving restaurant was installed on the 34th floor, but following a non-fatal bomb blast in 1971 it was closed to the public.
Bizarrely, the tower was, for several decades, an official secret, and was not included on Ordnance Survey maps:
I hope that I am covered by parliamentary privilege when I reveal that the British Telecom tower does exist and that its address is 60 Cleveland Street, London
- Kate Hoey MP, 1993
Research subjects include meteors, dark matter, quasars and pulsars.