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Lendal Bridge Sub-Station
This attractive little building was constructed circa 1920 by York Corporation to house an electricity sub-station. It was converted for commercial use in 2010.
The architects of this grade II listed building took design cues from (and chose to use the same pallette of materials as) the two tollhouse / lodge buildings associated with the adjacent Lendal Bridge (see Images 1, 2 & 3 below).
Internally, the building was originally divided into two rooms:
- a large split-level room, with the electricity board’s equipment installed on the raised section (to keep it clear of flood water from the nearby River Ouse); and
- a small store room.
The total internal floor area was 105 square metres (1,139 sq ft).
In 2004, the sub-station became surplus to requirements and it was decommissioned, leaving the building an empty (but functionally very important) shell. The functional importance arises because the structure has been incorporated into (and forms an integral part of) the city’s flood defences.
Between 2004 and 2006, the Environment Agency took advantage of the building's vacant status to make the building more resilient by strengthening the windows facing the river, installing watertight doors, and filling-in redundant trenches.
During 2010, the building was modified and renovated (at a cost of approximately £300,000) to make it suitable for re-use. The modifications included the replacement of the original flat concrete roof with a new steel-framed mansard roof. This provided the additional internal height needed to allow a new first floor to be inserted, which effectively doubled the internal floor area and significantly improved the building's viability for commercial use. However, in order to avoid spoiling the iconic view of the Minster, Lendal Bridge, River House, the Guildhall, etc. from the Wall Walk (see Image 3), care was taken to keep the top of the new roof below the level of the building’s existing parapet wall.
Since the 3rd of January 2011, the building has been leased to commercial tenants: another example of York's ongoing commitment to securing the future of redundant old buildings.
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