Survey of London: Volumes 29 and 30, St James Westminster, Part 1. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1960.
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No. 79 Pall Mall
The present No. 79 Pall Mall was built between 1866 and 1868 (fn. 1) for the Eagle Insurance Company (fn. 2) from the designs of David Brandon. (fn. 3) The house which had previously stood on the site was demolished in the summer of 1866. (fn. 2)
Between 1894 and 1896 the company made extensive alterations and improvements on the ground floor. (fn. 2) This work included the construction of a new porch in the easternmost bay of the Pall Mall front, and a one-storey extension at the back of the building. The architect was J. Macvicar Anderson of 6 Stratton Street. (fn. 4) The upper floors and basement were arranged for subletting, with a separate entrance to the west of the new porch. Between 1895 and 1916 part of these premises were occupied by the Baldwin Whist Club. (fn. 2) In 1917 the Eagle Insurance Company amalgamated with the British Dominions Insurance Company. (fn. 5) As the Eagle Star Insurance Company they now occupy both Nos. 78 and 79 Pall Mall.
The stone façade is designed in a style that is reminiscently Venetian. Each of the three storeys contains three openings, those in the ground storey consisting of a wide round-arched window flanked by doorways, narrower but also round-arched. The porch before the eastern doorway, which is in the Doric style with a pediment and rusticated columns, clashes with the original design and destroys its symmetry. In the second storey are three round-arched windows with enriched archivolts springing from marble pilasters. The windows in the third storey are plain with flat heads, but above them run an ornate frieze of festooned eagles and a prominent modillion cornice crowned by the elaborately pedimented and pilastered fronts of three dormer windows.