Name panel: LSHTM - Pettenkofer
Erection date: 1929
Site: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (24 memorials)
WC1, Gower Street, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
This listed building was designed by Vernor Rees in 1926, one of the first steel-framed buildings ever erected. The balconies are decorated with gilded bronze insects and animals involved in transmitting disease - all charming and beautifully photographed at Ornamental Passions where you will also find more info on the building and its decorations. Incorporated into the design is a frieze of 23 names around the top and above the entrances. The LSHTM website has a page about this frieze and the men commemorated - they are all men. The names were selected by a committee which chose to exclude Florence Nightingale (the only woman on the short-list) due to the length of her name, but they found room for Pettenkofer.
Walking anti-clockwise around the building the names read:
On the Gower Street façade, the first 3 being above the entrance:
On the Keppel Street façade:
On the Malet Street façade, the last 3 being above the entrance:
In 1914 this site was fingered for the new National Theatre, but it was not to be. In 2016 we visited an exhibition in this building, about the Shakespeare Hut. The hut was conceived by Israel Gollancz, Professor of English at King’s College and keen promoter of the Shakespeare Memorial National Theatre. The site was acquired in 1914 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by building a National Memorial Theatre.
But the war intervened and prompted the suggestion that the site should instead be used as a YMCA for New Zealand service men, with a stage for entertainments. The Hut was designed in a, for once, highly appropriate Tudorbethan style by W. Charles Waymouth. Opened on 11 August 1916, it was by all reports well-used and very popular. 1920-1924 it was rented for use by the Indian YMCA and this generated funds for the touring New Shakespeare Company. It was then demolished to make way for the LSHTM. See Shakespeare Hut (2021: now a dead link) for pictures and more information.
See the London School of Tropical Medicine for the origins of the LSHTM.