Thursday, 16 December 2021

9-15 Bedford Street, Belfast

Grand Central Hotel, Summer, 2018

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 ca 2015

Windsor House, now the Grand Central Hotel, is currently the tallest building in Northern Ireland (after the Obel Tower), measuring approximately 262 feet in height.

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.

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

Franklin Street Elevation, April, 2017
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.

Bedford 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.

Franklin Street Elevation, August, 2017

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

The former Windsor House block was virtually rebuilt and extended on all sides, especially the Bedford Street elevation.

James Street South Elevation, August, 2017

The old building was gutted and new walls, electrification, and almost everything else was renewed and replaced.

The new Grand Central Hotel opened in June, 2018.

First published in May, 2015.


Handelian said...

There’s a great view from the bar on the top floor but, crikey, the drinks are expensive! Season’s greetings, Lord B.

Timothy Belmont said...

Belmont has not darkened the threshold of the Grand Central yet. Merry Christmas, Handelian!