Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings

56 & 57 Queen Street

Listing: 2 houses, now offices.  Early C19.

Comment: When these pages first appeared I wrote here: "Surely nobody in the early 19th century would have designed a ground floor like that but it seems to sit quite well in the street".  I now find that the answer is that it seems as if someone did design a ground floor like that - well, sort of.  A photograph from the 1920s (and which is in Peter Rhodes' book "The Loaded Hour" at p.42) shows the top two floors as they are now (with the string course acting as lintels in both cases) and with a slightly odd arrangement on the ground floor of one rectangular window and three rounded headed windows with a round headed door between windows one and two.  It is all very asymmetrical - and of the present doorcase there is no sign. I am not absolutely sure that the ground floor was, even then, "early C19".  Anyway, it now looks as if the ground floor facade is a complete rebuild but with some reference to what went before.

The building also has some historic interest as it was the Express and Star offices, with the works built in the garden at the back, and it remained their only premises until until they started expanding into the gardens of the houses next door and then, in the 1930s, they knocked them all down in favour of the present art deco building - which, with its Emerson sculpture vast in Vinculum (a sort of artificial stone) by the local firm Tarmac, is a large, impressive and redolent of its time.