14 Comments
founding
Aug 15, 2022Liked by Dan Hayes

I am also so glad that the building has been listed. It is a very fine facade, a perfect modernist foil to the city hall opposite. However, I would want to go one further than Bridget and suggest along with you that the building BECOMES the library. Or at least enough of it to accommodate a modern library, with the rest let out to generate much needed income. And the car park at the back can go to enable full pedestrianization at the top of The Moor.

The Graves building is hopelessly inaccessible, as well as no doubt being inadequate to accommodate a 21st century library and all that this would entail. Whereas the Cole Brothers building has level access - and even escalators - as well as a 'blank' interior that can be hopefully easily refitted. Once, that is, the asbestos has been got rid of, of course - which for me should be grant funded by central government to enable older buildings to be kept, as those architects (and me) would want to see happen.

The Graves building can then also be retrofitted, possibly with the art gallery moved to make it as accessible as possible. The fine interior could be redone to also generate much needed income.

As I see it, for too long the city 'fathers' (usually all men?) have been far too keen on demolition and we have lost far too many fine buildings.

I don't miss Jessops, though, as the part demolished was so glaringly poor compared with the original building - which has been rightly retained as the University music department and presents a fine frontage alongside the new engineering building.

Expand full comment

I fail to see the relevance of the remark about male councillors.Based on my far from expert knowledge of Sheffield and its heritage in my 70 years of living in the city I have doubts regarding the expertise of some Councillors -Planners -Politicians and -dare I say it - Architects as evidenced in some aspect of today's cityscape . David Fine in his 'History And Guide To Sheffield' [recommended reading] sums it up nicely.That being said John Lewis is the only one of the three buildings [the others being Debenhams and Moorfoot] that has any serious merit though I think that some of the suggestions for reuseage are rather wishful thinking.There again I am only a layman. Beauty is often in the eye of the beholder viz Esmeralda and Quasimodo. Glad that someone has pointed out that it was the Jessops extension that was recently demolished.

Expand full comment

It seems you are telling us that we should support listing at the end of your article rather than make our own minds up. The hooha about embedded carbon is one thing but in the approach set out in the link from hallamshire historical buildings article in the star didn’t seem to cover carbon emissions from transport. I would like to see development there that pulls development into the city centre and fear listing could cost more and reduce the scope of the site in the future.

Expand full comment
Aug 15, 2022Liked by Dan Hayes

Good to have positive coverage, Dan. You're dead right - no tension between heritage and development (even the Council now say that), it can and should be a mutually beneficial relationship.

Expand full comment
Aug 15, 2022·edited Aug 15, 2022Liked by Dan Hayes

I am delighted the Cole Brothers building has been designated Grade II listed. I would also like to see Sheffield City Council keep it. There are a number of issues it would resolve. A temporary home for the Central Library and Graves Art Gallery while they find the £30m needed for repairs and carry out the work. A new home for Sheffield Archives because the Shoreham St site does not have parking, loading or unloading. The Clinical Care Commissioning Group are looking for a GP site in Sheffield City Centre, Fargate has been mentioned but there is no parking and it is a limiting factor. There is no city centre NHS dentist, that could go in there too. The council's regeneration scheme is heavily weighted in terms of populating the city centre with a broad demographic. There is no early years provision for the expanding population. And we could have a roof garden to compensate for the public open space we thought we were getting as part of the site redevelopment. I reckon all that would fill the building. It might all be a bit pie in the sky, but why not? Cllr Mazher Iqbal did ask for ideas a few weeks ago...

Expand full comment

What a wonderful idea to move the Central Library, Graves Art Gallery and Library Theatre to this building. With cafes, small shops etc it coukd be the remaking of that part of the City centre

Expand full comment