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TOWER BUILDINGS

List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: TOWER BUILDINGS

List entry Number: 1205810

Location

TOWER BUILDINGS, PROMENADE

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Blackpool

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish:

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 10-Oct-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Oct-1983

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 183675

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

SD 33 NW BLACKPOOL PROMENADE

2/18 Tower Buildings 10.10.1973 (formerly listed as The Tower, including the Ballroom)

I

Entertainment complex 1891-4; architects Maxwell and Tuke, engineer R.J.G. Reade, contractors Heenan and Froude. Consists of imitation of Eiffel Tower, surrounded by brick-faced quadrilateral block of 3 unequal storeys containing principally: Ballroom over ground floor cafe at north end; Circus in centre; and aquarium (altered) on ground floor and Roof Gardens on top floor of south end.

Tower of open steel girders. Square plan; four concrete foundation blocks 35 feet square and 12 feet thick with rolled steel joists and steel bedplates support four square-braced stanchions, each consisting of four pillars braced together with lattice girders, tapering in the height from 100 feet width at base to 30 feet width under main gallery, which is enclosed in glass, with three open galleries above. Ogee shaped cap, topped with flagmast terminating 518 feet above ground.

Ballroom: Originally promenade and concert room, enlarged and reconstructed in 1899 by Maxwell and Tuke with decoration by Frank Matcham executed by De Jong. Restored 1956 by Andrew Mazzei, after fire damage. Rectangular plan along north side of Tower buildings, rising from 1st floor level, with galleries on two levels along north, west and south sides, and proscenium at east end. Seven bays, with square columns passing through galleries, topped by winged herms between cross vaults bearing overhanging convex balustrade over each bay; panels within vaults decorated with cartouches displaying names of composers. First gallery straight, second gallery composed of convex bays passing columns, and curved round west end of ballroom: both faced with rocaille mouldings. At east end galleries terminate in squinch-set box with onion-dome, openings now screened with curvilinear lattice. Rectangular proscenium, containing canted wings with doorways, flanked by fluted columns; canopy, with lattice and rocaille moulding, bearing curved and lettered cornice and massive swan-neck pediment, with Three Graces between. Vaulted ceiling has large rocaille panels containing Baroque paintings, and oval-ended skylight in centre.

Circus: Arena, 1891-4 by Maxwell and Tuke, originally in Chinese style, remodelled 1900 (probably by Frank Matcham) in Islamic style. Square plan between feet of Tower, rising from basement level to include innermost stanchion of each leg and the inner of each pair of arched braces between stanchions. These structural elements are incorporated into comprehensively Moorish-Islamic design. Arches have soffits cusped in vigorously rythmic sequence of multifoil arches, with matching but subdued patterns in relief on the sides; pendentives filled with 5-sided and inverted-pyramidal structure of composite design, with cusp-profiled horse-shoe opening above. Base of stanchions boxed with marble slabs. Recessed straight-fronted balconies under arches at springer level, decorated with low relief pattern of interlacing arches; screened mezzanine balcony on north side, with 7 fretted windows. Boxes incorporated with stanchions, square at south-east corner, convex at north west, with scallop-shell and foliated moulding on front. Dado of promenade behind seating has glazed tiles with geometrical pattern. Other wall surfaces and ceiling decorated with calligraphic detail, interlaced arches, stylized scallops, fan patterns, etc. Reservoir under ring for aquatic displays.

Roof Garden, now free-flight aviary. Two parallel and adjoining pitched roofs of glass on iron frame, on south side of roof of Tower buildings. 8 bays; slim composite columns with stiff-leaf capitals supporting semi-circular longitudinal arcading with cross-braced girders above; semi-circular roof braces springing from corbels at spandrel level of columns, with arabesque open work in spandrels and at apex. Clerestory of plain windows with glazing bars over south arcade, with segmental aisle, glass-covered, descending to eaves level of outer wall.

There have been successive alterations to function and decoration of other parts of the interior of the Tower building, with fragments of earlier chinoiserie in top floor on west side; but massive staircase in red terracotta, rising from main entrance on west side, survives intact.

Listing NGR: SD3062136033

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: SD 30621 36033

Map

Map
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End of official listing