Pat Rogers, University of South Florida
The home of the ancient Company of Stationers, a guild founded in 1403 and admitted as a livery company in 1557. The Hall was acquired in 1607 on its present site in Ave Maria Lane near the junction with Paternoster Row, a stone’s throw from the west front of St. Paul’s Cathedral. This building was burnt to the ground in the Great Fire of 1666. It was replaced in 1670–73 by the structure that survives in large measure to the present day, built at a cost of £3,000. This considerable sum was defrayed mainly by the profits from the Company’s lucrative stock of copyright publications. A new frontage, completed in 1800, was designed by the Scottish architect Robert Mylne, while further additions were made in the nineteenth century by Mylne’s son and grandson, both well-known engineers. The Hall underwent serious damage in the Blitz, notably on the night of 29–30 December 1940, which later became known as the second Fire of London. Much of Paternoster Row, the traditional heart of the publishing trade, was destroyed, and as many as five million books consumed by thousands of incendiary bombs. After World War II, repairs and renovations were carried out, with further improvements made to the storage and reading areas in 2017. The bulk of the important Company archives are still held on the site.