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The world's greatest ground? A photographic centenary celebration of Highbury

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53. Protected for the nation

Part of the cost of the new stadium was to be met by redeveloping the old Highbury. With the N5 postcode commanding ever-increasing house prices, it made sense for Arsenal to create residential properties on the old ground - but it would have to be done tastefully.
 
For a start, the club had to get planning permission for hundreds of new properties in an already densely-populated neighbourhood. But there was also the consideration that parts of the East and West Stands were Grade II-listed protected buildings, and therefore undemolishable: they would have to be incorporated into the new housing. 
 
The West Stand was carefully stripped back to its façade, ready to become the frontage for new apartments being built behind it. Architects Allies and Morrison retained more of the East Stand, including the marble halls, the bronze bust of Herbert Chapman sculpted by Jacob Epstein, and the players' tunnel. 
 
New buildings were erected in place of the non-listed North Bank and Clock End stands, and the four sides face on to an open space where the pitch used to be.
 
Highbury Square was opened by Arsene Wenger in 2009. Among its residents is former Highbury favourite Robert Pires.

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