In the early-19th century, when the upper classes began to move out to the west, this area of Bloomsbury was flooded by artists and immigrants turning it into a northern extension of Soho.
The noted artist, John Constable, lived and worked at No. 76 Charlotte Street for many years. Many of the new residents established small workshops to service the furniture shops of Tottenham Court Road and clothing shops of Oxford Street.
Other residents opened up reasonably priced restaurants. The area around Charlotte Street is still well-known for the variety and excellent quality of its restaurants.
During the 1930s and 1940s the area of Bloomsbury between Gower Street and Great Portland Street, Euston Road and Oxford Street, became known as ‘Fitzrovia’. This name was coined by a group of writers who met at the Fitzroy Tavern at No.16 Charlotte Street between the wars. This traditional pub features a ‘Writers and Artists Bar’ in the basement, with pictures of its former customers including the writers George Orwell and Dylan Thomas and the artist Augustus John.
Today Charlotte Street is overshadowed by the 620 ft Telecom Tower, not open to the public, to the north. This great structure, which can be seen from all over London, was built in 1964 as a huge TV, radio and communications aerial.
Charlotte Street, once a rather quiet backwater to the north of Oxford Street, is gradually becoming more trendy as Soho creeps ever northwards and restaurants become established in the street.