Barratt London celebrates Kops Brewery founder Henry Lowenfeld with blue plaque unveiling at Fulham Riverside development
They’re a recurrent and always diverting sight across the Capital - commemorating properties that have enjoyed a particularly noteworthy role in London’s eclectic history – and yesterday a blue plaque was unveiled at Barratt London’s Fulham Riverside development to honour Kops’ Brewery founder Henry Lowenfeld (born Henryk Loewenfeld).
Among those invited to the reveal of the plaque were Sue Wright, the widow of Henry’s grandson, Dr Miranda Roberts, Henry’s great-grandaughter and Angela Dixon, the previous Chairperson of the Hammersmith and Fulham Historic Buildings Group who campaigned for his recognition. The plaque proudly sits on the historic façade of a building formerly used by the brewery - now sympathetically incorporated into the design of the Fulham Riverside SW6 development by Barratt London’s architects.
Sue Wright, speaking today on behalf of his other descendants, said she was “delighted that Henry has been recognised for his achievement in developing the first English non-alcoholic beer in 1890, at a time when drunkenness was the cause of so much unhappiness and disease. It is also encouraging that the façade has been so carefully restored and adds an interesting historic feature in Townmead Road.”
Henry Lowenfeld was born in 1859 in Warsaw and moved to England in the early 1880s. A natural entrepreneur, Henry produced a successful spot-removing fluid before opening a patent registration office. The latter earned a sizeable amount of money via an amplifying device in telephone receivers.
Sealing his reputation as something of a Victorian factotum, Henry then became manager of the Lyric Theatre and later owner of the Apollo in London, which led to his greatest financial success despite being a novice in the world of performing arts. He built one of England’s first luxury hotels - the Ocean Hotel on the Isle of Wight - and in 1890, at the same time the temperance movement was gaining momentum, opened one of the first breweries for non-alcoholic beer, Kops' Ale, which sold well on a large scale. He died in Paris in 1931.
Simon Garrett, Operations Director at Barratt London, said: "Henry was an inspiring entrepreneur and it’s an honour to commemorate such a significant figure in Fulham’s economic history. We’re delighted that Sue Wright was able to join us at Fulham Riverside to honour Henry by unveiling his plaque, and thankful to Angela for campaigning to recognise such a fascinating and inspiring character."