Future of ballerina Anna Pavlova’s old house unclear after LJCC merger

Ivy House. Picture: Will Curtis.

Ivy House. Picture: Will Curtis. - Credit: Archant

The head of the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) has admitted she does not know what will happen to the centre’s historic building following its merger with another Jewish community centre.

Anna Pavlova at the front door of Ivy House.

Anna Pavlova at the front door of Ivy House. - Credit: Archant

LJCC chief executive Louise Jacobs said the centre would be selling Ivy House, in North End Road, Golders Green, after the merger with JW3, in Finchley Road, but insisted she was yet to begin any further discussions about the building’s future.

Last week, the LJCC and JW3 announced plans to join forces and bring the LJCC’s programme of events under the same roof as JW3, a purpose-built £50million community centre which opened last year.

Ms Jacobs said: “I just don’t have the answers. We are sitting down and talking to JW3 and thinking about how we can put these two businesses together and get the best experience for our clients and students.

“At the moment we are thinking about how we can provide our programmes alongside what they offer. The other things will emerge over the coming months.”

Louise Jacobs. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Louise Jacobs. Picture: Nigel Sutton. - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Ivy House, which dates back to the late 18th century, was famously the home of Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova until her death in 1931.

It changed hands a number of times following the ballerina’s death and was home to the Anna Pavlova Memorial Museum for many years.

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In July 2002, the freehold for the house was sold by Middlesex University, which had used Ivy House as a base for years, to King Alfred School, located on the opposite side of North End Road, for £5m.

The LJCC immediately bought a 125-year lease on Ivy House from the school for £3.5m, funded by pharmaceutical mogul Tony Tabatznik, a St John’s Wood resident thought to be worth £500m, and other backers.

Vaughan Thomas, chairman of King Alfred School Council, said: “We have enjoyed having the LJCC as our tenants and we wish them all the very best as they merge with JW3.

“As freeholders of Ivy House we will, at the appropriate time, hold discussions with LJCC regarding the lease and take decisions accordingly.”