St James`s is an area of central London in the City of Westminster. It is bounded to the north by Piccadilly, to the west by Green Park, to the south by The Mall and St James`s Park and to the east by The Haymarket.
St James`s was once part of the same royal park as Green Park and St. James`s Park. In the 1660s, Charles II gave the right to develop the area to Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans, who proceeded to develop it as a predominantly aristocratic residential area with a grid of streets centred on St James`s Square.
Until the Second World War, St James`s remained one of the most exclusive residential enclaves in London. Famous residences in St James`s include St James`s Palace, Clarence House, Marlborough House, Lancaster House, Spencer House, Schomberg House and Bridgewater House. It is now a predominantly commercial area with some of the highest rents in London and, consequently, the world. Corporate offices in St James`s include the global headquarters of BP and Rio Tinto Group. The auction house Christie`s is based in King Street, and the surrounding streets contain a great many upmarket art and antique dealers.
White Cube gallery in Mason`s Yard, St James`sThe area has a good number of art galleries, covering a spectrum of tastes. The White Cube gallery, which represents Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, had originally opened in Duke Street, St James`s, then moved to Hoxton Square. In September 2006, it opened a second gallery in St James`s at 25–26 Mason`s Yard, off Duke Street, on a plot previously occupied by an electricity sub-station. The gallery, designed by MRJ Rundell & Associates, is the first free-standing building to be built in the St James`s area for more than 30 years.