Sunday, 1 February 2009

Yorkshire House, Belfast

Yorkshire House in Belfast, at 10, Donegall Square South, is better known nowadays as Ten Square Hotel. It is in a prime location, opposite the rear entrance to the City Hall.

I am interested to learn of the hotelier's plans to further develop and extend the hotel, from its present 23 bedrooms to 108; with a basement swimming-pool, too. This expansion shall cost about sixty million pounds.

Yorkshire House was built in 1862, thus making it the same vintage as the Ulster Hall in Bedford Street. It has three storeys and nine-bay frontages which overlook Donegall Square and Linen Hall Street. The building itself is quite modest in size; none the worse for that, though. It's a fine building and those responsible for its restoration deserve praise and credit. Accordingly, the hotelier intends to demolish two adjacent buildings: Lancashire House at 5, Linen Hall Street; and Scottish Amicable House, at 11, Donegall Square South. Yorkshire House is, indeed, surrounded on both sides by the two.

Scottish Amicable House is unexciting, at any rate. It was built in 1970 and is currently a six storey office block.

Lancashire House was built in about 1956, is of seven storeys and has always been associated with Yorkshire House since it was originally built as an extension or annex.

From an architectural perspective, this development should prove to be imaginative. Completion is anticipated by 2012.


Stephen Barnes said...

The ground floor of this building used to be a fine, old-fashioned Post Office, complete with wooden framed security screen from the 60s. I think the last time I was in it was around '91, so it would have closed around that time.

I hesitate to say that I agree that Scottish Amicable and Lancashire House should both be pulled down, but many of the old buildings in Belfast were once considered eye-sores. Who knows, maybe in years to come, hideous 1970s carbunkles will be considered as classic designs!

Timothy Belmont said...

Please don't tempt me to list the best carbuncles!

I had a walk around Linenhall St, Bedford St and Alfred St today; not many about and very cold. :-)

Timothy Belmont said...

Stephen, I, too, recall the post office. I worked for awhile at TSB Donegall Sq S across the road. Remember it?


Alan in Belfast said...

So do you think they'll build a new floor as a block on top of the original (just a bit set in from the front) or will they try to get permission to add a few floors in the style of the original?

Timothy Belmont said...

I haven't seen the plans; don't even know whether they've been published in newspapers yet, under planning applications.
I'm hoping that the development will be sensitive or sympathetic to Yorkshire House.
I get the feeling that they wish to keep the original interior as it is; many developers gut them out and retain the shell!