Listing: c.1860. Included for group
Awards: In the Civic Trust Awards for 1996
the restoration of this block for the Halifax Building Society received
a Special Mention. The report reads: "These previously
vacant grade II listed buildings facing the town square have been
carefully refurbished to provide an extension to a building society
branch office. New hardwood shop fronts have been designed to
relate to the windows above and, together with the use of colour, help
to restore the individual identity of the three buildings". The
architect was Barton Fellows. The contractor was William Sapcote
Comment: The remarkable red brick
sort-of-arts-and-crafts building on the far right is part of the Halifax
set up but is not included in the listing, as far as I can make out.
If it isn't, perhaps it ought to be. I think the 6 bay building on
the left is 61 and 62; it pretty much corresponds with the details given
in the listing. The building on the corner is 12 Queen Square and
the 3 bay building on the right is 13 Queen Square - but are the really
as old as 1860?
These buildings occupy an important corner of Queen
Square, look nice and are part of the old familiar scene. In the 1990s
there was much concern at the replacement of shops in shopping centres
with non-shop uses, especially the premises of building societies.
Here Halifax may have replaced some shop uses - the tobacconist chain,
Bewlay, used to be here, as well as Lyon's - but the refurbishment looks
like a gain overall.