Sunday, 20 August 2017

9-15 Bedford Street, Belfast

Windsor House ca 2015

MARCUS PATTON OBE, in his invaluable historical gazetteer of central Belfast, describes numbers 9-15 Bedford Street thus:
In 1852 a new stone warehouse had been built on this site for Messrs Robert and John Workman, linen and muslin manufacturers, by Charles Lanyon. 
One of the first developments in the street, this was four storeys high with channelled ground and first floors, central first floor balcony, arched tops to third-floor windows, outer bays set slightly forward, and chimneys rising above deep eaves.

The Workmans' warehouse was demolished in the early 1970s and construction began on Windsor House.


Windsor House, or the Grand Central Hotel as it shall soon be, remains the tallest commercial office building in Northern Ireland (after the Obel Tower), measuring approximately 262 feet in height.

Franklin Street elevation, April, 2017

The Bedford Street (eastern elevation) of the main block is relatively narrow, though the building extends backwards along Franklin Street on the south side and James Street South on the north side for a considerable distance.

A massive extension, forty or fifty feet in height, has been built around these three sides.

Bedford Street elevation, August, 2017

In 2015 it comprised approximately 122,500 square feet, set over ground and twenty-two upper floors.

Most of the floors extend to about 5,300 square feet.

The building incorporated a double-deck car park at ground and first-floor levels, with 96 car-parking spaces accessed via James Street South.

Franklin Street elevation, August, 2017

The external walls were of a mosaic-covered, prefabricated concrete cladding with a steel and reinforced concrete structure.

A concrete mineral felt-finished flat rood covered the building, capped with a communications mast.

It is served by five high-speed lifts from the foyer.

James Street South elevation, August, 2017

Windsor House was purchased in 2015 by the Hastings Hotels group.

I keep a close eye on the construction and building works at the site.

The old Windsor House block is being virtually rebuilt and is being extended on all sides, especially the Bedford Street elevation.

The old building has been gutted and new walls, electrification, and almost everything else is being renewed and replaced.

The new Grand Central Hotel will open in June, 2018.

First published in May, 2015.

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