Corn Exchange20th January, 1915
Designed by Cuthbert Brodrick, an architect from Hull, the Grade I listed structure first opened its doors in 1863. During 1915 when the picture was taken, the Corn Exchange was mainly used for business transactions and negotiations between the corn dealers and merchants. Underneath the building there is a huge basement where the corn was stored. Due to the decline in agriculture, the Corn Exchange faced demolition threats but thanks to a regeneration project, the historic building reopened for trade in 1990. The centre is now home to independent fashion boutiques, a record shop and cafes.
Kirkgate Market Hall1938
First opened in 1822, over the centuries Kirkgate Market has grown to become one of the most iconic buildings in Leeds. In the late 19th century the market became the founding location of Marks & Spencer which opened initially as a penny bazaar. Fast forward to 1941 and the market survived a number of German army air raids during World War II but that luck eventually ran out when Kirkgate was engulfed by a terrible fire in 1975 before being refurbished in the 1990’s. Today the market is as popular as ever; home to over 800 stalls making it the largest covered market in Europe. Approximately 100,000 visitors flock to Kirkgate each week.
Otley Road, Headingley1969
Martins Bank Limited first opened their doors back in 1924 on Otley Road, Headingley. Martins served in Headingley for 45 years before being taken over by Barclays Bank and shortly after closed down in 1974. Now the building is home to Parklane Properties after they moved from Cardigan Road in the late 80’s. Since then they have become the go-to agent for sales and lettings in Leeds: catering for students, professionals and families alike.
Kirkgate, Tram Stop23rd June, 1955
Leeds was one of the last cities in England to finish its tram service with its final journey on the 7th November 1959. Fares ranged from less than 1p to 3p depending on the length of the journey. The tram depot was located in Swinegate which was then renovated into The Queen’s Hall - an iconic music concert venue, playing host to many profile acts such as Queen and The Rolling Stones. Bibi’s Italianissimo now stands on the former site.
Albion Street dates back to 1790 when it was mainly used for residential houses. The street slowly moved to other uses and in 1847 Leeds Stock Exchange set up here. 20 years later The Yorkshire Post newspapers was established on the street before moving. Nowadays, Albion Street is part of a large pedestrianised precinct for shoppers and home to eateries such as Wasabi and Starbucks.
Victoria Arcade18th December, 1949
The Victoria Arcade was built in 1898 on The Headrow and designed by Thomas Ambler. The arcade contained 26 shops but in 1947 Snowden Schofield bought the whole space and slowly merged the whole of the Victoria Arcade into his department store, Schofield’s. The building was demolished in 1959 when Schofields’ was renovated. Today, the building still serves the same function known as ‘The Core’. The shopping centre contains several chain stores such as Sports Direct, New Look and HMV.
Brudenell Road, Hyde Park16th November, 1948
Brudenell Road is part of the ‘cross streets’ built in the 19th century where groups of streets in Hyde Park would be categorised into different group names such as The Chestnuts, The Brudenells and The Richmond. The picture captured in 1948 shows the junction between Brudenell Road and Welton Road with a line of shops. At the junction is a chemist which is still there today. Presently, the Hyde Park area is one of Leeds’ largest student communities for Leeds and Leeds Beckett universities.
Lewis’s, Headrow26th August, 1947
Lewis’s Department store first opened its doors to the public on the 17th September 1932 and was 40 ft higher than any other retail building in Leeds. The department store was a well known chain also in Liverpool, Glasgow and Leicester. Following the extinction of the company, the building has now become home to Argos, T.K Maxx and supermarket Sainsbury's.
Gaumont Cinema, Cookridge Street1946
Designed by architect W. Bakewell, and first opening its doors on the 15th July 1885, the Coliseum acted as a concert hall and theatre that seated 3000 people. In 1905, the event space was converted into a full time working Cinema. Today, the Grade II listed building has been restored to its original function as a concert hall and is known as the O2 Academy, playing host to many profile acts such as The Kaiser Chiefs.
The Bowl, Arndale Centre HeadingleyJune 1967
The Arndale Centre chain were the first shopping malls of their kind in England, with a total of 23 being built in the UK. Arnold Hagenbach and Sam Chippendale from Otley set up “Arndale Property Trust” the largest of the Arndale centres situated in Manchester. The Bowling Alley closed in the 60’s but had 18 lanes open to the public with a full licensed bar. Nowadays, the Arndale Centre is full of shops and restaurants as opposed to serving a more entertainment complex function in the 60s, which was also home to a strip club and a nightclub.
Empire Arcade, Briggate14th December, 1990
14th December, 1984”,”Formerly known as The Empire Palace Theatre, one of the country’s most popular Variety Theatres’, it opened its doors in 1898 but sadly closed in 1962 and renovated into The Empire Arcade. Designed by theatre architect Frank Matcham, The Empire Palace Theatre was a redevelopment of the meat market slum area completed in the early 1900’s. Harvey Nichols, the upmarket department store now occupies The Empire Theatre and Arcade space but there are still remains of the old theatre signs if you look above the shop windows. Victoria Arcade is well known for its array of luxurious shops such as Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and The White Company. The Victoria Quarter is one of the most impressive of Leeds’ arcades containing a grand marble and mosaic interior; Matcham’s designs are said to have been influenced by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.