Eleanor Rathbone House
3, 5 and 7 Avenue Road, Highgate, N6 5DS
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1969 - 2002

Sheltered housing
Eleanor Rathbone House opened on 7th December 1969 to provide sheltered homes for elderly German and Austrian Jewish refugess who had fled Nazi persecution.  It had been built as a joint project by the Association of Jewish Refugees and the Central British Fund for German Jewry.  The building was named after Eleanor Rathbone (1872-1946), M.P. who was a champion for the cause of refugees from Fascism.

The 12-storey purpose-built block contained 48 self-contained one-room apartments, each with a small kitchen and bathroom, four apartments with two rooms and one with three rooms, as well as an apartment for the resident warden.  The building was centrally heated.  There were two lifts, and two communal lounges - one with a TV - and a small communal kitchen for residents to make hot drinks or where food could be prepared for social functions.

In 1991 the Otto Schiff Housing Association took over the ownership of the building and its management.

However, as the residents became older, they became less able to cope with independent living.  As the apartment block was located on a hill, access to public transport and the shops became more difficult.  By 1999 there were only 30 or so residents, aged around 85 years.  It was decided the House should close once arrangements had been made to rehouse the remaining residents.

The House closed in 2002.

Present status (June 2019)

The property was sold in 2003 for £5.7m.  It has been renamed Avenue Heights and contains rented luxury studio apartments.


The 12-storey high-rise tower and the larger 2-storey podium have been converted into luxury apartments (above and below).


The main entrance to Avenue Heights.
References (Accessed 6th July 2020)

(Author unstated) 1970  Eleanor Rathbone House opened.  AJR Information (January), 3.

(Author unstated) 1992  Volunteers' meetings.  AJR Information 47 (8), 9.

Grenville A 2010 'The MP for Refugees'.  AJR Journal 10 (6), 1-2.

Levene T 2002 Uncertain future for flats that are a monument to hope. The Guardian (23rd March).


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