Chinese Puzzle

Hilton Street, Manchester

Hilton Street, Manchester

This is one of my favourite Manchester buildings which is close to China Lane, hence the post title, although in truth it is better described as being on Hilton Street.

I love its curved lines and the white stonework which shines so brightly when it’s sunny, so much in contrast with the older redbrick buildings around it.

It houses lots of city dwellers in smart apartments that can be yours for just £225,000 with views overlooking East Manchester and the Rochdale Canal.

The puzzle bit of the post title is because I can’t figure out the name of the building or when and why it was built. It was clearly an office block originally, perhaps connected to the rag trade which was prominent in the area, although this is a complete guess. I’d love to hear from anyone who knows.

UPDATE: After some persistent Googling (they can’t touch you for it) I’ve now discovered that the building was indeed once a warehouse and is now the Met Apartments.

I’m on a bit of a roll now! I came across this Telegraph article from 2007 which brackets the building with other Art Deco landmarks, such as the Owen Williams’ Daily Express building on Great Ancoats Street and the Edwin Lutyens designed Midland Bank in King Street.

Strangely it isn’t a listed building, although the developers treated it as if it was, so they say, but I still haven’t found out exactly whose warehouse/offices it was. Watch this space.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

6 comments… Add yours
  • Chrissy Brand 28th September 2012

    One of my favourites too SP! Looks like you have found out a lot about it now. I posted about it here:

  • Mr Parrot 28th September 2012

    Thanks Chrissy – I guessed that you must have covered it at some point. I’d still like to find out more about its original use. It seems to be listed as the Hilton Street Warehouse on on of the walking tour sites – perhaps I’ll have to sign up for one!

  • rhymeswithplague 28th September 2012

    The burning question of the day has to be WHY would you like to find out more about its original use?

  • Mr Parrot 28th September 2012

    That question is easily answered Mr Plague – because I feel I should know. I worked close to that building for more than 25 years and took it for granted for all that time when it’s actually a splendid example of Art Deco architecture.

  • gerald 28th September 2012

    Amazing what you find out when you search for the history of a building – getting past the “yellow-pages” type websites is the problem with Google.

  • Mr Parrot 30th September 2012

    You’re right Gerald. My biggest problem was by-passing the estate agents and their apartments for sale!


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