The Victorian Society and The Georgian Group have joined forces to campaign against the partial demolition of grade II listed buildings at 47 Piccadilly - an extremely rare survival illustrating Manchester’s development. 47 Piccadilly was built as a house in 1776 but in the 19th century was converted to commercial use by the Midlands Railway Company, which added a warehouse to the existing townhouse during its time at the premises from 1878 to the late 1910s. In the later 20th century, the buildings were used as shops and beauty salons, but for decades have been left to decay.
Trafalgar Leisure Limited submitted a planning application for a 12-storey hotel development in September 2020 but a decision has yet to be made. Around 2/3 of what survives at 47 Piccadilly would be demolished under the plans, including almost all the Victorian warehouse, the surviving parts of a 18th century outshut, some of the internal walls of the original townhouse, including the stair hall and parts of its staircase, leaving only the front façade.
The two heritage groups urge Manchester City Council to reject the application given the buildings’ architectural and historical importance. These sole surviving buildings reveal the original scale of the street and, with their 18th and early 19th century decorative details, provide a glimpse of what was once one of Manchester’s best and most fashionable residential streets. The additional rear warehouse is rare example of the kind of adaptive reuse which characterised the buildings of Piccadilly through its transition from a residential to commercial character.
The groups stress that the Stevenson Square Conservation Area where the buildings sit would also be harmed by the poor architectural design of the proposed hotel which fails to respond to the surrounding historic context. The proposed design is undistinguished and its clumsy and muddled proportions would dwarf what remained of 47 Piccadilly, causing further harm to the conservation area. You can view the building plans .
Further pictures of the building’s interior can be found in the planning application.