More than 100 years ago, unsuspecting passengers visited Oceanic House in London to buy tickets for the tragic voyage of RMS Titanic.
A century later and the grade two-listed former headquarters of White Star Line next to Trafalgar Square has been converted into six apartments and a two-storey penthouse.
The homes are said to have been specially created to echo the luxury of transatlantic ocean travel at the beginning of the 20th century, providing an insight into the life of Bruce Ismay, chairman of White Star Line, and the events surrounding the Titanic disaster in 1912.
The scheme consists of four two-bedroom apartments, two three-beds and a four-bedroom duplex, with prices starting from £5.2million.
Residents get 24-hour security, underfloor heating, reception rooms, en suites in every bedroom and a scale model of the Titanic on display.
Beauchamp Estates partner Gary Hersham said: “The apartments at Oceanic House represent a unique, once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity to purchase a piece of iconic British history and acquire a luxurious home in the former headquarters of the famous White Star Line in the heart of London’s West End.”
The White Star Line was founded in 1845 by John Pilkington and Henry Wilson.
It was purchased by Thomas Henry Ismay in 1868, who was succeeded by his son Joseph (Bruce) Ismay in 1895.
Bruce formed a vision to create the world’s most successful and luxurious ocean liner business and sold White Star Line to American multi-millionaire John Pierpont to fund these ambitions.
Ismay remained as chairman and used the money to develop Oceanic House between 1903 and 1906 and a fleet of ocean liners.
From this office in July 1907, plans to create the world’s largest liners began to develop. The three vessels would be called Olympic, Britannic and Titanic.
The building’s ground floor was used as the booking office and the basement provided luggage rooms where trunks could be stored and transferred.
It was from this office that the Countess of Rothes, Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon and Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon, purchased their first class tickets to travel on the Titanic.
And it was also where Ismay ordered the fateful reduction in lifeboards on the Titanic from 48 to 16, the minimum allowed under safety standards, and where he proclaimed the vessel to be “unsinkable”.
After Titanic sank on April 16, 1912, Ismay returned to London from New York, where he’d been waiting to greet the ship, to find it protected by police, the world’s media and protestors shouting “the coward of the Titanic” and “Brute Ismay”. He resigned in 1913.
White Star Line moved from Oceanic House in 1929 and it has since been an office of Barclays, the Ministry Of Defence and the Texas Embassy.
Midlands Capital bought the building in 2012 before initiating the redevelopment in late 2014 after obtaining planning permission.
For sales information, contact Beauchamp Estates on 020 7499 7722 or go to beauchamp.com
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