Monday, 16 January 2012

The Co-op


It's very different from the heavy stone Victorian architecture in Bradford but somehow I've always quite liked this building, Sunwin House, opened in 1936 as The Co-operative Emporium, the flagship store of Bradford's Co-operative Society.  It was designed by W A Johnson, the Co-operative Wholesale Society's chief architect, in the 'International Modernist' style.  It's a Grade II listed building, owing to its intact survival both inside and out.  When the Co-op pulled out in 2004, it briefly became a T J Hughes store.  That also closed down recently and now it's another empty building.  Let's hope it doesn't deteriorate and that someone else is visionary enough to take it over (John Lewis?? hint, hint...)

Generations of Bradford folk must have memories of the store.  I recall in my student days buying my first ever small black and white TV from here, on an interest-free credit deal that I was scrupulous about paying off every month.  I felt very grown-up!  Lots of children must have been brought here to buy their 'best coats' and shoes and to whisper their hopes to Santa Claus in his grotto at Christmas.

(I'm having problems commenting on some blogs, so if that's yours - sorry!  Let's hope Blogger sorts the problem out quickly.  I suspect if you change the comments setting to 'pop-up' it might help.)

7 comments:

  1. I like the 30ies architecture, always interesting, often with lots of curves. Sad that the building is empty now..

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  2. Another example of our town burgers lack of imagination along with the fine Odeon building which has been let fall into a derelict state so as to make it's eventual demolition "health and safety" issue. . . . compared to Leeds which made the desision, ( around about the same time Bradford set about destroying many important Victorian buildings and arcades), to invest in the upgade and preservation of the Corn Exchange and various Victorian shopping arcades, and more recently The Light building on the Headrow.
    A regular six monthly re-visit and photograph of Sunwin House in order to keep track of developments may prove interesting.
    You know there is plenty of room on the banner to fit the words, "John Lewis".

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  3. It is a striking thirties building. I hope it is not destroyed. Who is John Lewis?

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  4. As far as I know, Jenny, only one person has had trouble leaving comments for me and that was fixed by removing the verification step. But send me a email if you do have trouble. I'm having trouble following other blogs. Blogger appears to accept but then doesn't show my icon on the other blog and doesn't automatically show me new posts. Is Google instituting "La Mordida?"

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  5. Hi "diane b", John Lewis is the name of a rather spiffing chain of department stores which still manage to make shopping a pleasure.

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  6. Ummm, this is not my favorite style of building.

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  7. It reminds me of something here in the states that would be torn down. Hope a use is found for it! ~Lili

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