Park Lane (road)


Park Lane (road)

Park Lane is a major road (designated A4202) in the City of Westminster, in Central London. Originally a country lane, it became a fashionable residential address from the eighteenth century onwards, with several large mansions such as the Duke of Westminster's Grosvenor House and the Holford family's Dorchester House. In the 1960s the Lane was widened to three lanes each way either side of a central reservation, making it effectively an urban motorway. This required the demolition of a number of houses at Hyde Park Corner. It is one of the busiest and noisiest roads in central London, retaining little or none of the pastoral atmosphere that once made it popular. Access to Hyde Park is by underpass. In 2004 a memorial to Animals in War opened in Park Lane [http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/59397.html] .

Park Lane is about three quarters of a mile (1.2 km) in length, and runs north from Hyde Park Corner to Marble Arch, along the length of the eastern flank of Hyde Park. To the east of the road is Mayfair. The road owes much of its fame to the fact that it is the second most valuable property in the London edition of Monopoly. Despite the traffic noise the road is still upmarket, featuring five-star hotels (such as The Dorchester and Grosvenor House Hotel) and showrooms for several makes of sports car.

The road forms part of the London Inner Ring Road and was part of the London congestion charge zone's boundary, but when the zone was extended westward in February 2007, it was designated as one of the "free through routes", which allows vehicles to cross the zone during its hours of operation without paying the charge.

On June 29,2007 a car bomb was found in an underground car park. See 2007 London car bombs.

Notable residents

Past

*No. 93: Benjamin Disraeli - prime minister
*No. 99: Moses Montefiore - philanthropist
*No. 140: Keith Clifford Hall - contact lens pioneer
*Aldford House: Dame Anna Neagle - actress
*Grosvenor House and Garden: Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster - richest man in England, race horse owner, philanthropist.
*Londonderry House: Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry - cabinet minister and very wealthy Irish aristocrat.
*No. 55: Hyde Park Residence [http://www.hpr.co.uk/] : Chika Sylva-Olejeme - Peace crusader, Founder International Peace Institute
*Fraudster Sidney Stanley occupied an apartment there during the 1940s.

Present

*Dame Shirley Porter, Tesco heiress and Tory politician set up home on Curzon Square in 2006 after 12 years of self-imposed exile in Israel

References

* Some of the residents' names are from the blue plaque website.
* Park Lane is also a property name in the Monopoly board game, being one of the most expensive properties in the game.
* The Parke-Laine family in Jasper Fforde's books is named after Park Lane.


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