Pearson House is part of the St Dunstan’s Institute for men and women blinded on war service. It was named after the Institute’s founder, Sir Arthur Pearson.
The first building constructed on the site was the home of Major Villeroy Russell, who owned the land on which Portland Place was built. Unfortunately his classical mansion was burnt down on 12 September 1825, before it was even completed. In 1847, three houses were built on the site, known as West House, Portland House and Portland Lodge. All three were later merged into one, West House, which was acquired at the end of the First World War by the St Dunstan’s Institute and later renamed Pearson House.
The facade of the listed building was preserved when the home was extensively restored and extended in 1971, reopening on 31 May 1973. The St Dunstan’s building at Ovingdean Gap is now used for training, holidays and convalescence, while Pearson House is principally for the elderly and sick.
Although Pearson House stands on the northern side of St George’s Road, it is actually numbered 12-14 Portland Place.