Listing: Store developed between the late 1920s and 1950s.
Landmark building with elevations on Victoria Street and Darlington Street.
Architects - Lavender, Twentyman and Percy. Store also now includes former
Burton's building on corner. House 'art deco' style with elephant head
motifs. Locally Listed, approved March 2000.
Plaque: on Darlington Street frontage, commemorates the
creation of Darlington Street (and acts as a gravestone for one of the
webmasters of this site).
Comment: When the listing says "Store
developed between late 1920s ..." that refers to the present
buildings on the site. Beatties is one of the oldest extant
retailers in Wolverhampton - and a much liked department store
(something of a local institution). Their history in
Wolverhampton will, one day, get a few pages elsewhere on this site.
In recent years the group expanded very rapidly but this remained
their HQ and flagship store. In 2005 the company succumbed to
a takeover by House of Fraser - who say that the store will retain
The ex-Burton's corner.
|The Victoria Street frontage (to the left in the top
photo) is by Lavender, Twentyman and Percy, a local firm of architects.
It is a very interesting and effective effort - a kind of restrained,
almost stripped, classical design which becomes art deco.
The very prominent corner building was originally a
Burton's clothing store. They obtained the site, which was
bordered on both sides by Beatties, from the council. This was to
the considerable annoyance of James Beattie who naturally wanted it, and
thought that he was entitled to it. But his tender was too low.
|Burton's had a house style in the 1930s when they
were expanding rapidly. The style is classic art deco.
The corner building is it - curved to go round a corner.
The style varied as far as having a number of different
animals for the top of the columns and stores in the
same region got different animals. In this area
Wolverhampton got the elephants.