If you still do not have enough of the shopping spree , then you could either continue to the right at the Regent Street towards Piccadilly Circus , or turn one blocks later to the right towards the pedestrian zone Carnaby Street.
The building was designed by American architect Daniel Burnham , who was respected for his department store designs. American-trained Swedish structural engineer Sven Bylander was engaged to design the steel frame structure. As the building was one of the early examples of steel frame in the UK, Bylander had to first agree appropriate building regulations with the London County Council , requiring amendments to the London Building Act Aided by British architects R. Opened on 15 March ,  the store was built in phases.
The main entrance and all of the bays to its left were added some 18 years after the store first opened, using a modified construction system. A scheme to erect a massive tower above the store post-World War I was never carried out. Harry Selfridge also proposed a subway link to Bond Street station , and renaming it "Selfridges"; however, contemporary opposition quashed the idea.
The final design of the building completed in , although classical in visible style and frontage, is thoroughly modern in its steel frame construction. In part due to new schools of architectural thought emerging apart from the classical schools, and in part due to the close proximity of World War I, the building is seen as the last of the great classical buildings undertaken within the UK. Although the UK was late in adopting modern architecture only from the s onwards,  by the midth century many architects looked at Selfridges as if it were pre-historic in design, accepted just because Harry Gordon Selfridge wanted to advertise his business with a confident display of classicism in stone.
There are two levels of basement beneath the lower-ground shop floor: The "dry" is under the rear of the building, known as the SWOD after the surrounding four streets — Somerset, Wigmore, Orchard and Duke — that once enclosed it. The building had one of the only secure telex lines, was safe from bombing, and was close to the US Embassy on Grosvenor Square.
Initially used by U. The first conference took place on 15 July Initial visitors included Prime Minister Winston Churchill , to enable secure communications with the President of the United States , although later extensions were installed to both 10 Downing Street and the Cabinet War Rooms. Created by Sam Taylor-Wood , it showed a gathering of well-known pop and cultural figures of the time, including Sir Elton John. The new store opened to the public on 15 March , employing 1, staff,  setting new standards for the retailing business.
At that time, women were beginning to enjoy the fruits of emancipation by wandering unescorted around London. A canny marketer, Selfridge promoted the radical notion of shopping for pleasure rather than necessity. The store was extensively promoted through paid advertising. The shop floors were structured so that goods could be made more accessible to customers.
There were elegant restaurants with modest prices, a library, reading and writing rooms, special reception rooms for French, German, American and "Colonial" customers, a First Aid Room, and a Silence Room, with soft lights, deep chairs, and double-glazing, all intended to keep customers in the store as long as possible.
Staff members were taught to be on hand to assist customers, but not too aggressively, and to sell the merchandise. Oliver Lyttleton observed that, when one called on Selfridge, he would have nothing on his desk except one's letter, smoothed and ironed.
Selfridge also managed to obtain from the GPO the privilege of having the number "1" as its own phone number, so anybody had to just dial 1 to be connected to Selfridge's operators. The roof terrace hosted terraced gardens, cafes, a mini golf course and an all-girl gun club.
The roof, with its views across London, was a common place for strolling after a shopping trip and was often used for fashion shows. As with much of central London during World War II, Selfridges suffered serious damage on a number of occasions during the 57 nights of the London Blitz from 7 September , and in and The bomb on 17 April destroyed only the Palm Court Restaurant, venue for the rich and famous.
A canteen in the SWOD basement area see above was massively damaged, with eight American servicemen killed and 32 injured, as well as ten civilian deaths and seven injuries. A Milne-Shaw seismograph was set up on the third floor in , attached to one of the building's main stanchions, unaffected by traffic or shoppers.
It recorded the Belgian earthquake of 11 June which was also felt in London. At the outbreak of war, the seismograph was moved from its original site near the Post Office to another part of the store. In , the seismograph was given to the British Museum. The IRA planted other bombs too - on 21 February inside the store, injuring five people;  just outside the store on Oxford Street on 28 August , injuring seven;  and inside the store on 29 January , setting the building ablaze and causing an injury.
Selfridges was named world's best department store in ,  and again in Selfridges' 27 Oxford Street windows have become synonymous with the brand, and to a certain degree have become as famous as the store and the Oxford Street location itself. The windows consistently attract tourists, designers and fashionistas alike to marvel at the current designs and styling and fashion trends.
Selfridges has a history of bold art initiatives when it comes to the window designs. When the building opened, Harry Selfridge initiated a "signature" window which was signed by all of the stars and famous people who came to shop at the store. This was cracked in the first bombing during the blitz, and was never restored. The four stations serve an average of million passengers every year, with Oxford Circus being the busiest.
Crossrail , a major project involving an east-west rail route across London, will have two stations serving Oxford Street, at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road. Each station will be "double-ended", with exits through the existing tube station and also some distance away: Oxford Street has been ranked as the most important retail location in Britain and the busiest shopping street in Europe. There is heavy competition between foot and bus traffic on Oxford Street, which is the main east-west bus corridor through Central London.
Around , people get on or off a bus on Oxford Street every day, along with 43, further through passengers. Taxis are popular, particularly along the stretch between Oxford Circus and Selfridges. There have been several proposals to reduce congestion on Oxford Street. Horse-drawn vehicles were banned in , and traffic signals were installed the same year. This is only open to buses, taxis and two-wheeled vehicles between 7: However, the area is popular with unregulated rickshaws, which are a major cause of congestion in the area.
Their slow speed, coupled with the narrowness of the street buses are unable to pass them, causing long traffic queues only add to the traffic woes. This doubles the pedestrian capacity at the junction.
In , the New West End Company and the Mayor of London , Ken Livingstone , proposed to pedestrianise the street with a tram service running end to end. In , TfL suggested that pedestrianisation may not be a suitable long-term measure due to Crossrail reducing the demand for bus services on the street and proposed banning all traffic except buses and cycles during peak shopping times.
The figure was an average that included night-time, when traffic was much lower. Oxford Street has suffered from high crime rates. In an internal Metropolitan Police report named it as the most dangerous street in Central London. During , there were vehicle crimes, robberies, 2, violent crimes and 5, reported instances of anti-social behaviour.
In , the United Arab Emirates issued a travel advisory, warnings its citizens to avoid Oxford Street and other areas of Central London such as Bond Street and Piccadilly due to "pickpocketing, fraud and theft". Every Christmas, Oxford Street is decorated with festive lights.
The tradition of Christmas lights began in , five years after neighbouring Regent Street. There were no light displays in or because of economic recession, but the lights returned in when Oxford Street organised a laser display, and have continued every year since.
Current practice involves a celebrity turning the lights on in mid- to late-November, and the lights remain until 6 January Twelfth Night. The festivities were postponed in because of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and in to fit with Kylie Minogue 's touring commitments. Oxford Street has several Grade II listed buildings. In addition, the façades to Oxford Circus tube station are also listed. Oxford Street is mentioned in several Charles Dickens novels. In A Tale of Two Cities , as Oxford Road, it is described as having "very few buildings", though it was heavily built up by the late 18th century.
It is also mentioned in Sketches by Boz and Bleak House. The street is a square on the British Monopoly game board, part of the green set together with Regent Street and Bond Street.
The streets were grouped together as they are all primarily retail areas. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Oxford Street disambiguation. For the tube station, see Oxford Circus tube station. List of Oxford Street Christmas lights celebrities. London portal Roads portal.
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Selfridges London Oxford Street Store, Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB. Aldo. Oxford Street, London W1D 1NP. Aldo. Oxford Street, London W1C 1JP. Adidas. Oxford St, London W1C 2PG. Accessorize. 55 - 59 Oxford St, London W1D 2EQ. Accessorize. Oxford St, London W1C 1JA. Like it or not, Oxford Street shops make up the main artery of London shopping. It’s not the place to head for independent boutiques, as only massive brands can afford the rents attached to Oxford Street premises, but it is unrivalled in its offering of cheap high street shopping and jumbo department stores. 4 reviews of Oxford Street "One of the best places to get your outfits from I get it from going to the club to go into the church they will have you looking back looking the best in town not to mention the service is excellent don't forget to get /5(4).