Sheffield has several modern listed buildings and one of them was so very nearly lost in 2011 when the Council in their wisdom frantically tried to get it de-listed.
When Grade II listed Castle House on Angel Street was built for the B&C Co-op in the 1960s to replace their bombed-out store it was most certainly a ‘no expense spared development’. Granite was used to clad the elevation and the interior fittings, particularly the giant open-plan spiral hardwood staircase, just scream quality. The tiled wall panels are a fantastic example of the 1960s era and the horseshoe shaped boardroom table with its stylish retro overhead lighting is quite breathtaking. Personally I’d never been a fan of this period, but this was the building that changed my views.
The Council felt that Castle House’s presence was holding up the development of Waingate, but fortunately did not get their own way in their de-listing efforts. Several schemes have been put forward for its reincarnation but the latest one looks very promising. In this digital age, the little acorns have to start somewhere so £3.5m is to be spent on creating an incubator for digital start-ups. This is a burgeoning industry which is just what Sheffield needs and parallels can be drawn with the Little Mester’s Workshops which sprang up in the city 150 years ago. Many of these blossomed into something much bigger and likewise these digital companies will no doubt follow suit.
As to the building itself, Sheffield Conservation Advisory Group suggested way back in 2012 that the Festival of Britain style clock which used to adorn the building be reinstated. It would be very easy to create a replica and would nicely finish off this landmark building. Howzabout it then?