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A C20 Society Northwest Tour: Manchester City Centre: Architecture Between the Wars

Walk/Tour

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Manchester’s cotton trade was a world leader in 1911, but a decade later, it began a period of decline. Despite the consequences of this and the world depression that followed into the 1930s, some of Manchester’s most remarkable buildings were constructed during this time.  Indeed, ‘…there was still considerable wealth in the city and in the period between the two world wars, Manchester erected some of its most notable, and expensive, buildings.’

Scale and lavish materials were distinguishing features. Innovative construction methods were combined with quality stone facing to give an impression of permanence and solidity, yet often reflecting something of Art Deco and the Jazz Age in detailing. Towards the end of the period, architects began to use materials like glass and Vitrolite in new ways so that overall, architecture in Manchester between the wars is marked by a fascinating eclecticism.

Our morning tour will start in the shadow of the First World War, at C. S. Jagger’s powerful memorial in the lobby of the present-day Britannia Hotel. We will explore the Northern Quarter and the area around Shude Hill/Victoria station before heading up Bridge Street. There will be quite a few familiar landmarks but you can also expect to  see some not so well-known buildings, like the Co-operative Wholesale Society offices on Dantzic Street, noted for their highly characterful brickwork.  

Meet

Meet 10.30 am in the foyer of the Britannia Hotel, Portland Street (formerly Watts Warehouses, 1855-58).  The hotel is adjacent to Piccadilly Gardens and about ten minutes walk from Piccadilly station.  We expect to finish around 1.00 pm at the magnificent former Midland Bank on King Street – now Jamie’s Italian restaurant. Walking is generally on the level. 

Booking

  • The fee for the tour is £5 (no concessions). Pay on the day, cash only. Numbers are limited so booking recommended but not essential.  
  • To reserve a place email C20NW@outlook.com  Emails will be acknowledged.  

Open to all, C20 members and non-members.