Bridgewater House, Manchester

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Bridgewater House, Whitworth Street, Manchester

Bridgewater House, Manchester is a packing and shipping warehouse at 58–60  Whitworth Street, Manchester, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building. [1]

In the final half of the 19th century Manchester's reputation as a financial and commercial centre was boosted by the unprecedented number of warehouses erected in the city centre. In 1806 there were just over 1,000 but by 1815 this had almost doubled to 1,819. Manchester was dubbed "warehouse city". The earliest were built around King Street although by 1850 warehouses had spread to Portland Street and later to Whitworth Street. They are direct descendants of the canal warehouses of Castlefield.

Whitworth Street

Whitworth Street is a street in Manchester, England. It runs between London Road (A6) and Oxford Street (A34). West of Oxford Street it becomes Whitworth Street West which then goes as far as Deansgate (A56). It was opened in 1899 and is lined with many large and grand warehouses. It is named after the engineer Joseph Whitworth whose works once stood along the route. Whitworth Street West runs alongside the viaduct connecting Oxford Road and Deansgate railway stations: beyond Albion Street the Rochdale Canal is on the northern side. On the Albion Street corner is the building once occupied by the Haçienda nightclub at nos. 11-13 while further east on the same side is the Ritz.

The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) is England’s official list of buildings, monuments, parks and gardens, wrecks, battlefields and World Heritage Sites. It is maintained by Historic England and brings together these different designations as a single resource even though they vary in the type of legal protection afforded to each. Conservation areas do not appear on the NHLE since they are designated by the relevant local planning authority.

Bridgewater House was built as a shipping warehouse in 1912 to a design by Harry S. Fairhurst. It is built around a steel frame with a cladding of sandstone ashlar and white glazed terracotta in a large rectangular plan, with a loading bay at the rear. The building has eight storeys and a basement and 19 bays. The lower two floors are of stone, and the upper floors are of terracotta. Above the doorways are profile medallions of the Duke of Bridgewater. [1] According to the architectural historian Clare Hartwell, Fairhurst's huge buildings are "steel-framed and built to high-quality fireproof specifications". [2] The builders were J. Gerrard & Sons Ltd of Swinton.[ citation needed ] The authors of the Buildings of England series state that "Fairhurst's design revolutionised the business of loading and unloading goods and twenty-six lorries could be dealt with simultaneously using a drive-through system". [3]

Harry S. Fairhurst British architect

Harry S. Fairhurst was a prominent architect in Edwardian Manchester. He was responsible for many of the city's iconic warehouses and his commissions include Blackfriars House, headquarters of the Lancashire Cotton Corporation and Arkwright House, headquarters of the English Sewing Cotton Company.

Sandstone A clastic sedimentary rock composed mostly of sand-sized particles

Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized mineral particles or rock fragments.

Ashlar Finely dressed stone and associated masonry

Ashlar is finely dressed stone, either an individual stone that has been worked until squared or the structure built of it. Ashlar is the finest stone masonry unit, generally cuboid, mentioned by Vitruvius as opus isodomum, or less frequently trapezoidal. Precisely cut "on all faces adjacent to those of other stones", ashlar is capable of very thin joints between blocks, and the visible face of the stone may be quarry-faced or feature a variety of treatments: tooled, smoothly polished or rendered with another material for decorative effect.

The building was constructed for Lloyd's Packing Warehouses Limited and, like many warehouses, was built to a common design with steps to a raised ground floor with showroom and offices. The first floor contained more offices, waiting rooms for clients, and sample and pattern rooms all decorated to impress customers. The working areas above were plain with large windows to allow in natural light. Orders were packed there and sent to the basement on hoists powered by Manchester's hydraulic power system and packed into bales using hydraulic presses before dispatch. The warehouse was lighted by gas. [4]

Manchester Hydraulic Power

Manchester's Hydraulic Power system was a public hydraulic power network supplying energy across the city of Manchester via a system of high-pressure water pipes from three pumping stations from 1894 until 1972. The system, which provided a cleaner and more compact alternative to steam engines, was used to power workshop machinery, lifts, cranes and a large number of cotton baling presses in warehouses as it was particularly useful for processes that required intermittent power. It was used to wind Manchester Town Hall clock, pump the organ at Manchester Cathedral and raise the safety curtain at Manchester Opera House in Quay Street.

As of 2012 the building, converted to offices, is owned by Bruntwood. [5]

Bruntwood

Bruntwood is a family-owned property company offering office space, serviced offices, retail space and virtual offices in the north of England and Birmingham in the United Kingdom. They own several high-profile buildings in the Manchester area, as well as in Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham. They own one-third of the office space in Manchester city centre and also donate 10% of all annual profits to arts, cultural and community charities.

See also

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References

Citations

  1. 1 2 Historic England, "Bridgewater House, Manchester (1270606)", National Heritage List for England , retrieved 27 September 2012
  2. Hartwell 2002, p. 207
  3. Hartwell, Hyde & Pevsner 2004, p. 335
  4. Warehouses Whitworth Street, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering Manchester University, archived from the original on 11 March 2012, retrieved 1 October 2012
  5. Bridgewater House, Bruntwood, retrieved 27 September 2012

Sources

Nikolaus Pevsner German-born British scholar

Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner was a German, later British scholar of the history of art, especially of architecture.

Yale University Press university press associated with Yale University

Yale University Press is a university press associated with Yale University. It was founded in 1908 by George Parmly Day, and became an official department of Yale University in 1961, but it remains financially and operationally autonomous.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Coordinates: 53°28′30″N2°14′24″W / 53.4751°N 2.2400°W / 53.4751; -2.2400

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.