Amar House, Broad Street and corner of Fryer Street

Thanks to the Amar Group of Companies for permission to enter and take photos.

This landmark building was presumably built in the 1880s or slightly later as part of the redevelopment of Lichfield Street and Broad Street.  It is known that by 1910 John Shaw and Sons Ltd. occupied this building.   It seems highly likely that they built it.  

The entrance to Fryer Street leads to the tiled hall and stairway which gives access to a very large hall.  That hall was recently used as the Paloma Banqueting Suite but is now leased to Riley Snooker Halls.  It may originally have been a showroom.  The tiles shown are the only interior tiles currently inside the building.

Part of the Broad Street facade, showing terra cotta string courses, window dressings and aprons.

Julie Gillam Wood, who is researching Burmantofts architectural ceramics, has found that Burmantofts supplied ceramics to "Shaw's premises Wolverhampton"  in about 1890.

She says that the tiles here appear to be by Burmantofts and that the column treatment is very similar to that produced by Burmantofts for the Refuge Assurance Company's headquarters in Whitworth Street, Manchester, in 1895.  The architect there was Sir Alfred Waterhouse.

The architect of this building is unknown but, whilst stylistically it is not out of the question, it seems that this building is too small, too plain and too provincial for him.  

The main entrance, showing plain and moulded tiles in shades of brown, yellow, gold, white and blue.

The staircase.  The second stage after the half landing is tiled in the same way and the tiling stops at the first floor.

Julie Gillam Wood has kindly provided the two photos which show a similar treatment of tiled columns. These are in the Refuge Assurance Company's head office (now the Palace Hotel) in Whitworth Street, Manchester. This was built in 1895; Alfred Waterhouse was the architect.

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