Wolverhampton is a treasure trove of Art Deco buildings, and in this post I am looking at some of the less obvious ones (you can see the Beatties/Burton building and other, more famous examples in a previous post here.)
Clock Chambers are so known as they house a Barristers Chamber, but the building is actually the former showroom and company offices for the Wolverhampton Gas Company. It was built in 1938 by Lavender and Twentyman, and is a lovely example of the streamline moderne style, complete with the requisite Art Deco clock.
I think this building has a real elegance to it, and I’m glad to say it has been locally listed, so hopefully will be around for many years to come.
Betfred Building Formally Headquarters of the Staffordshire Building Society
As you can see, these pictures were taken on a beautifully sunny day, hence the glare on what is a stunning building. Now known as the Betfred building, this elegant design from 1933 is the former headquarters of the Staffordshire Building society. Again it has been locally listed, and is definitely worth a second look, having lots of period features from the 1930s and occupying a unique shape that makes it almost church like in its design.
Rosalind Franklin Building University of Wolverhampton
The Rosalind Franklin building at the University of Wolverhampton is a great example of how modern architecture can be tied in with an art deco period building to create a new and exciting design. The 1930’s deco building has been used to create an entrance building for the new science block, retaining its lovely windows and doorway.
I like how this building shows we can utilise what we already have and make it both functional, whilst retaining the attractive style of the past.
Mystery Store Bilston
It has the look of a former Burton, but I can see no Burton store listed for Bilston so I am at a loss as to what this may have been in the past. The stonework does look deco in design, but Bilston has many Regency period buildings, so this may be far older. If anyone has any info, please leave a comment below.
Former Beldray Factory, Bilston
The stunning, locally listed Beldray factory is an absolute Art Deco delight. Now available for rent as office space, the Beldray (an anagram of Bradley, the company who built the offices and factory) building has so many features of Art Deco style, from the curve of the building, the lettering and design of the signage, and the stunning windows.
I couldn’t get inside, but many internal Art Deco features are also preserved (you can see some here.). This gem is locally listed and is the sort of building you expect to find in London, a real gem.
The Attwood building is an iconic landmark in Wolverhampton, and always seems to me to be reminiscent of the sort of buildings you find in Miami Beach, with it’s tall landmark tower and lettering. The Attwood building was built in the late 1940’s and is so called because it a workshop by car dealers Charles Attwood and Son in the 1950’s.
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