Art Deco inspired Dudley building is restored
Scaffolding has been removed from a landmark Dudley town centre building, following a £100,000 restoration.
Improvements to Plaza Mall, where Woolworth’s was once located, have been funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Dudley Council.
The work is part of the Dudley Townscape Heritage Programme, which funded the ‘Growing up in Dudley Project’, the recent installation of the Percy Shakespeare blue plaque and provides grant assistance to historic buildings centred around the marketplace and neighbouring streets.
The first and second floor façade of the Plaza Mall building has been enhanced to restore the building back to how it first appeared in the early part of the 20th century.
Its original granite fascia has been revealed, where a faint outline of the former Woolworth’s lettering can still be seen. The cream and chocolate tiles have been repaired and restored and windows have been reinstated to their historic form.
The work has transformed the appearance of the building and it’s hoped this will add to the appeal of the marketplace, building on a number of improvements undertaken in the marketplace and on Castle Street.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:
I’m delighted work to restore and enhance the upper parts of this Art Deco inspired building is now complete.
The Plaza Mall building was built in the 1930s and much like me, many local people will have fond memories of the Woolworth’s store that was originally sited here.
It was built in the Woolworth’s in-house style, designed by chief Woolworth’s architect Bruce Donaldson and it is thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Dudley Council that its original architectural features have now been revealed, repaired and restored.
This building makes a significant architectural and historic contribution to the High Street and forms a part of our transformative £1billion regeneration programme.
Tony Swannie, owner of Plaza Mall, said:
We have been on the High Street more than 12 years now and we have around 40 small businesses in our centre serving the community with a variety of shops and services.
We are delighted this work has been completed. It's amazing what you can find underneath all that paint and we would like to thank all concerned for their hard work. We now have a building to be proud of set right in the heart of the town centre to serve the community for years to come.
I am looking forward to working with the council on the second stage of the project which is to improve the appearance of the ground floor shopfront.
Midland Conservation Limited was appointed to undertake the Plaza Mall work.
Work to 203/204 Wolverhampton Street (formerly known as Merlins) has been completed under the Townscape Heritage Programme. The upper floors of 14 New Street were recently completed and the restoration to the Fountain Arcade and several other projects in Wolverhampton Street is also underway.
Notes for Editors
For more information about the Dudley Townscape Heritage visit the webpage: https://www.dudley.gov.uk/residents/planning/historic-environment/historic-buildings-and-structures/heritage-led-regeneration/dudley-townscape-heritage-programme/
About The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk
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