Leopold Buildings, Columbia Road, Bethnal Green, Greater London
This block of flats with attached shops and lower blocks are at the Hackney Road end of Columbia Road. They were built in 1872 by Sydney Waterlow's Improved Industrial Dwellings Company (IIDC) as cheap housing for workers. They were designed by Waterlow and constructed with the help of a builder, Matthew Allen. The IIDC was founded in 1863 based on earlier housing experiments by Sydney Waterlow. It was one of the two main providers of inexpensive working class housing in late 19th century London. The other organisation was the Peabody Trust. Leopold Buildings is a good example of the IIDC policy, in which blocks were fitted into existing streetscapes. The Peabody Trust, by contrast, built more self contained courtyard estates.