Lauderdale House hunts for ‘pop up’ home during year-long closure

The grand doors of Highgate’s historic Lauderdale House are normally flung wide open, inviting the community in to view art, join a class or simply have a coffee.

That will all change from next month, when the arts and education centre will be closed for nearly a year to allow a £2.3million restoration project called Lauderdale Transformed to take place.

But the house will continue to serve the community by running its programme of activities at venues all over Highgate while building works are underway, for a season of events it has dubbed Pop Up Lauderdale.

Watercolour classes will be held at The Bull pub in North Road, while children will have to get over their fears of the dentist when they visit Father Christmas at Highgate Dental Practice in Highgate High Street.

But the house is desperately looking for a space where its small office team can “pop up” until they move back to the transformed house in July or August next year.


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Nick Peacey, chairman of Lauderdale House, said: “We’re not a very large team but we have to be comfortable and somewhere that doesn’t cost, beyond ground expenses. Of course, it would be good to be somewhere near the house as that will help with supervision.”

He added: “We would be very, very grateful to anybody who feels able to give us a home.”

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Whoever hosts the Lauderdale office will see their generosity rewarded with their name engraved on a gleaming glass wall in the newly renovated Upper Gallery.

Director Katherine Ives said in a plea to the community: “We’re very well behaved, come with portable WiFi, are good company if that’s what you want or we can keep out of the way.

“We are happy to make ourselves useful and will keep quiet as we’ll be beavering away to run the pop-up programme and raise the final £250,000 for Lauderdale Transformed.”

The house will be closed to the public from October 1.

The galleries and the cafe will close on Sunday.

But the popular annual Spooky Walk Hallowe’en trail will still be held in the grounds of the house on October 31.

Many of the regular classes and activities have already started “popping up” at venues across Highgate. Visit lauderdalehouse.co.uk for more information.

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