Highbury Square: A 93-Year-Old Football Stadium Converted Into Apartments

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For any die-hard Gooner with half-a-million pound to spare, what’s better than buying a property at the old Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, North London? The football stadium and former home ground of the Arsenal Football Club was originally built in 1913 on the site of a local college's recreation ground before it grew into the "Home of Football", as it was affectionately nicknamed. Over the decades, the stadium was redeveloped and expanded to accommodate the increasing number of Arsenal fans until it reached a bottleneck at the turn of the century. By then the stadium had only 38,000 seats, far too small to provide for every Arsenal fan. Further expansion of the stadium was out of question because it was surrounded on all sides by a residential area.

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Photo credit: www.portico.com

On 7 May 2006, Arsenal played their final game at the stadium. It was a FA Premier League match against Wigan Athletic, and the last game of the season. The team needed to better the result of neighbours Tottenham Hotspur to secure qualification for the Champions League. Having been 2–1 behind, a hat trick by captain and all-time leading goal scorer Thierry Henry secured qualification, with Henry kneeling down to kiss the turf on scoring what proved to be the final goal seen at the stadium. After that, the club packed their bags and moved out and into the newly built 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium nearby.

After the stadium closed in 2006, Arsenal auctioned off many parts of the stadium, including pieces of the pitch, the goalposts and former manager George Graham's desk. The stadium was redeveloped and converted into 650 flats in a project known as "Highbury Square”. The North Bank and Clock End stands were demolished. The exteriors of the listed Art Deco East Stand and the matching West Stand were preserved and incorporated into the new developments, while the rest of the stands' structures were removed. The pitch became a communal garden, and the players tunnel was turned into a hallway leading to it.

Apartments at Highbury Square are still available for sale starting at half-a-million pounds to nearly a million, at the time of this writing.

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Photo credit: www.loimparcial.cl

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Photo credit: www.loimparcial.cl

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Photo credit: www.loimparcial.cl

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The new Emirates Stadium (top half of the image), and the old Arsenal Stadium (bottom half of the image). Photo credit: www.thefootballstadiums.com

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The Arsenal Stadium before it was turned into Highbury Square. Photo credit: Arsenalpics.com

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Photo credit: www.loimparcial.cl

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Photo credit: www.housepresso.com

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Photo credit: www.zoopla.co.uk

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Photo credit: www.zoopla.co.uk

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Photo credit: www.zoopla.co.uk

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