Old photo of Rathbone Street.
The northern end of Rathbone Street in 1970. Plans to demolish the lot led to the formation of the Charlotte Street Association. Photo: Tower/Fitzrovia News Archive.

Veteran community activist Max Neufeld will present a lecture at Holborn Library this month giving his personal insight into the development of modern day Fitzrovia.

Neufeld, along with others in 1970, railed against the immense environmental changes that were occurring in the neighbourhood, when developers saw Fitzrovia as a prime opportunity for development, destroying much of the architectural heritage of the neighbourhood and failing to provide new housing and public open space.

One proposal by a property developer spurred Neufeld and a group of neighbours to form the Charlotte Street Association to fight the changes and persuade the powers that be to protect the best of neighbourhood and provide for the community that lives in Fitzrovia.

Plans to demolish a row of Georgian buildings at the north end of Rathbone Street brought them together. Although they lost that battle they succeeded in forming conservation areas, getting many buildings listed, and creating new public open spaces.

Neufeld — a resident of Fitzrovia since the early nineteen-sixties and now in his tenth decade of life — will give his unique insight into the changes he witnessed, and the challenges he and his colleagues faced, along with their failures, their successes, and the continuing challenges the neighbourhood faces today.

There will also be a display of photographs from the Charlotte Street Association (CSA) Millennium Exhibition, which is now lodged at the Camden Library Local Studies and Archives Centre, along with the CSA archives.

Sixty Years in Fitzrovia: Understanding Fitzrovia — the Story of a Takeover. A talk by Max Neufeld, Fitzrovia Activist. Tuesday 27 September 2022 at 6pm. At Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, 2nd Floor, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8PA. Admission Free.