Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Looking for the story of that building on Deansgate

Now I don’t suppose either Andy or I are alone in wondering about the history of the Santander building on Deansgate.

Down on Deansgate in 2015
I had always thought it had once been a pub or perhaps one of those mission halls which gave out food and comfort to the poor of the city and I had always promised myself I would go and find out.

Not that I ever did and it was left to Andy’s daughter to track something of its story.

In 1971 it was a branch of the National Westminster Bank and stood on the corner of Severn Street which was another of those long roads which ran up from Lower Byrom Street to join Deansgate.

And back on Deansgate in 1971
And there the fun begins.

Back in 1911 the site was occupied by the Dog and Partridge which and I am not quite sure when the building was either demolished for the bank or just changed its use from offering pints to cashing cheques.

What I do know is that I should have remembered the bank and the redevelopment of the area which saw the disappearance of Severn Street along with the buildings beside it and in their place a huge block of offices.

And again in 1988
But the facade of the building was retained and incorporated into the present development.

So the mystery has been solved but perhaps not quite because it does raise questions about the history of the bank and who decided to preserve the facade.

Pictures; Deansgate and the Santander Building 2015 from the collection of Andy Robertson, and The National Westminster Bank in 1971, B Garth, m56507 and the back of the facade in 1988, m01553, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass

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