Fitzrovia is an area of central London, near London's West End. It is a formally designated area lying partly in the London Borough of Camden (in the east) and partly in the City of Westminster (in the west). It is bounded to the north by Euston Road, to the east by Gower Street, to the south by Oxford Street and to the west by Great Portland Street.
Fitzrovia is named after the Fitzroy Tavern, a public house situated on the corner of Charlotte Street and Windmill Street within the district. The name was adopted during the inter-war years initially by and later in recognition of the artistic and bohemian community habitually found at the public house.
The public house was named after Charles Fitzroy (later Baron Southampton), who first developed the northern part of the area in the 18th century. Fitzroy purchased the Manor of Tottenhall and built Fitzroy Square, to which he gave his name; nearby Fitzroy Street also bears his name. The square is the most distinguished of the original architectural features of the district, having been designed in part by Robert Adam.
From the 1930s the area between Great Portland Street and Gower Street became known to its denizens as Fitzrovia. The district was first developed by Charles Fitzroy, lord of the manor of Tottenhall from 1757. The east and south sides of Fitzroy Square were designed by Robert Adam in 1794 and survive in their original form, in Portland stone.
In its early days it was largely an area of well-to-do tradesmen and craft workshops, with Edwardian mansion blocks built by the Quakers to allow theatre employees to be close to work. Nowadays property uses are diverse, but Fitzrovia is still well known for its fashion industry, now mainly comprising wholesalers and HQs of the likes of Arcadia Group.
New media outfits have replaced the photographic studios of the 1970s–90s, often housed in warehouses built to store the changing clothes of their original industry — fashion. Charlotte Street was for many years the home of the British advertising industry and is now known for its many and diverse restaurants. Today the district still houses several major advertising agencies.
A number of television production and post-production companies are based in the area, MTV Networks Europe, Nickelodeon, rogue and CNN Europe being headquartered here. ITN used to be based at 48 Wells Street during the 1980s, with its Factual Department still housed on Mortimer Street, and Channel 4 was briefly situated on Charlotte Street. Reflecting Fitzrovia's connections with the avant-garde the area has a concentration of commercial art galleries and dealers.