Harringay Warehouse District
An overview of how the evolution of the warehouse district and neighbouring communities has shaped the Tottenham Pavilion project.
HARRINGAY WAREHOUSE DISTRICT
Harringay Warehouse District, also known locally as Manor House Warehouses, is a former industrial site in South Tottenham that has, over the past 20 years, been converted into live and work spaces by artists, makers, performers and alternative community advocates.
Dating back to the early years of the twentieth century, the area was originally one of the main centres of employment of the former Municipal Borough of Tottenham. The first employer was Wine Gum manufacture, Maynard’s. Followed by furniture, piano, electrical and a whole host of other manufacturers.
By the 1980’s as bigger employers moved out, small-scale garment manufacturing moved in until they too shifted their operations causing a decline in the mid-late 1990’s. At this point, artists started to move in, leading to the vibrant community that now occupies Harringay Warehouse District.
Located on the edge of South Tottenham the district was created by self-directed conversions of warehouses, supported and advocated by the main Landlord. This approach has created a unique self-shaped neighbourhood unlike many, if any, in an urban context.
Recognising the value of the unique characteristics of this community, the Landlord and Haringey Council have protected the area with a Policy on Warehouse Living - legitimising the existence of the district and recognising it as an asset within the Tottenham Creative Enterprise Zone. Actively resisting the lure of big developers and demonstrating commitment to retain the areas’ distinctive characteristics.
A similar story of community led regeneration is found in Wards Corner, Seven Sisters. In the 1970’s as new arrivals from across South America moved into Tottenham, a Latin American quarter developed in a disused Edwardian department store. Fighting current plans for new regeneration, the legacy of Wards Corner’s is yet to be determined.
Cycles of change continue at Woodberry Down, which used to be known as the “posh end of Stoke Newington”, home to several wealthy Jewish families - many overlooking the reservoirs which were originally supplied from the New River. In 1930, the first major regeneration came through a compulsory purchase of the whole area by London County Council - hailing the construction of an ‘estate of the future’. Short lived due to fundamental flaws in the construction, in 2009 Berkeley Homes were appointed to deliver 5,500 new homes. This development isn’t without its controversies including a current campaign to save a 150 year old tree due to be removed.
Mixed periods of wealth and poverty left their mark across the whole area, where Victorian streets rub against various council-built low-rise projects. Immigration and migration are also hallmarks of the area - from a large settlement of immigrants from the West Indies in South Tottenham to the Jewish community migrating from the East End to Stamford Hill.
Tottenham today is a densely built-up, multicultural district, with an incredible mix of voices. This project can’t solve the battle that change causes, however on a hyper local level it hopes to equip people with the skills and a platform to express what matters most to them.
More on Harringay Warehouse District
Patrick write an article for Furtherfield on the 2019 Tottenham Pavilion pilot - it provides an interesting outsider perspective on the potential of the project. read>>
Ella wrote an article for East End Review in June 2015 that provides a plotted history of the area and some of the challenges involved its growth. read>>
Gumtree is actually a wonderful area to flick through adverts from tenants looking for new people. It offers an interesting peak into warehouse life. view>>
The area wouldn't be 'an area' without a Wikipedia entry now would it. A modest entry view>>
Local organisations of note
Spaces for Creatives
The main landowner operates under the name of Spaces for Creatives. They run a website of the same name, which offers some useful insight into how the area is shaped through the collective model.
New River Studios
New River Studios is an arts’ centre, studio provider, venue, education hub, cafe and bar, with a large and diverse range of users. Housed in a former warehouse, New River Studios has a cafe is a great place to visit if you’re exploring the area.
A social enterprise that is now closed, Haringey Arts was ran for a decade connecting creative tenants within the warehouse community. The website is an interesting archive of activity.