This drawing is from the estate of James R. Lamantia, Jr. (1923-2011), Professor of Architecture at Tulane University, and was included in an exhibition of Lamantia’s collection at the university’s library in 1984. This very work was apparently considered one of the prizes of the collection; it was reproduced on the cover of the exhibition catalog, co-authored by William R. Cullison III and Lamantia. In the exhibition and catalog, Interior of the Turkish Baths is attributed it to George Daniel Stevenson, a pupil of the architect who designed the building:
The Jermyn Street Turkish Baths, built in 1862 and now destroyed, are indicative of the 19th-century fascination with the Orient, particularly the Arab world with its mosques, sheiks and souks. The architect for the baths, George Somers Clark (1825-1882), trained with Sir Charles Barry and later became an important exponent of the Ruskinian Gothic. Stevenson, a draftsman, detailed much of the Tower Bridge in London for Sir Horace Jones and later, after Jones’ death, took over the work on the bridge. These two drawings, elaborately detailed and handsomely executed, were probably prepared for presentation purposes.
As indicated in the catalog, the Turkish Baths at Jermyn Street were designed by the British architect George Somers Clarke. They were built by the London and Provincial Turkish Bath Co., Ltd. under the supervision of David Urquhart, who also coined the term “Turkish bath” for such facilities. Urquhart modeled the idea on Hammams, public bathing facilities he had seen in Turkey, Greece and Spain. He promoted their construction throughout London as a way to improve health and sanitation in the era before modern indoor plumbing brought hot running water into homes. The Jermyn Street bathhouse was a dry air sauna open to men only. By the beginning of World War II it had closed down through lack of use and was completely destroyed during a German bombardment in 1941. The story of its design and construction is detailed on Malcolm Shifrin’s web site devoted to Victorian Turkish Baths (see References below).
George Daniel Stevenson was a British architect, based in London. A pupil of George Somers Clarke, he remained in his office after the completion of his studies, and in 1873 was named as principal assistant to the firm. He later worked as assistant to the London City Architect, Sir Horace Jones. Stevenson retired around 1913.
Provenance: James Lamantia, Jr. (1923 – 2011). At the time of his death, Lamantia was Emeritus Professor of Architecture at Tulane University in New Orleans. He was also a practicing architect, and an artist.
Condition: Generally fine with the usual overall light toning and wear. Extremely faint scattered foxing, unobtrusive.
Cullison, William R. III, and Lamantia, James. An Eye for Architecture: Architectural and Decorative Drawings from the Collection of James Lamantia. New Orleans: Southeastern Architectural Archive, Tulane University Library, September 16 to October 31, 1984. Item 26B, pp. 28-29.
Felstead, Alison and Jonathan Franklin. Directory of British Architects 1834-1914: Vol. 2 (L-Z). London: Royal Institute of British Architects, 2001. Online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=GkThQYLb3ZUC (8 October 2012).
Shifrin, Malcolm. “Plan and cross-section of the London Hammam.” Victorian Turkish Baths. 7 July 2012. http://www.victorianturkishbath.org/3TOPICS/AtoZArts/aapix/Dog76JSplan_w.htm (8 October 2012).
Shifrin, Malcolm. “Turkish baths in London, 76 Jermyn Street.” Victorian Turkish Baths. 7 July 2012. http://www.victorianturkishbath.org/6DIRECTORY/AtoZEstab/London/Jermyn76/1Jermyn76SF.htm (8 October 2012).
“The Turkish Baths in Jermyn Street, St. James.” Another Nickel in the Machine. 12 April 2011. http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/2011/04/the-turkish-baths-in-jermyn-street/ (8 October 2012).