Manchester Evening News Office - Deansgate

The image above is shown with the permission of Eirian Evans from his Geograph collection.

The Manchester Evening News Building, which once stood on Deansgate adjacent to Rylands Library was built at the end of the 1960s.  It was part of the development of the area around the new Crown Court buildings, by the architectural practice of Leach Rhodes and Walker.  Their Crown Square project resulted in the pedestrianization of the area beside Rylands Library, as well as the construction of Cumberland House (the former Education Office, now demolished) and this MEN Building. 

The MEN started life in 1868 in "a dingy office" in Brown Street.  However, by 1879 it had moved into premises on Cross Street across from the Royal Exchange, that were home to the Manchester Guardian (see below). You can just make out the sign on the brownstone building which reads "The Manchester Guardian".  Subsequently, the Scott Family, owners of the Guardian, bought the Evening News.

After the MEN made the move to Deansgate, they marked their centenary by commissioning a sculpture, to be erected on the pedestrian area between their building and Rylands Library.  The piece was entitled "Vigilance" and it was created by the sculptor Keith Godwin.  The public sculpture database says this of it, ""Vigilance", the first abstract sculpture to be installed in the city centre, was commissioned by the Scott Trust to mark the centenary of the Manchester Evening News, an anniversary also celebrated by the planting of trees in Albert Square. ........... In developing the sculpture, Godwin was concerned with presenting bold determined shapes. He was also aware of the possibility of vandalism, and the tall two-part concrete base was, in part, a response to this concern. The choice of a red granite aggregate for the base acknowledged the red sandstone of the neighbouring John Rylands Library. Godwin did not provide the sculpture with a title but Laurence Scott, grandson of C. P. Scott, decided on "Vigilance", an apt title for a sculpture associated with the press. The sculpture was unveiled in May 1971 by Sir William Hayley, the Director- General of the BBC, and former editor of the Manchester Evening News and The Times. "  If you click on the link below you can see the sculpture outside the new MEN Office.

Just as the Deansgate Office was created during the Crown Square Development  of the 1960s/70s, it was demolished as part of the Spinningfield Development in the 2000s.  The sculpture "Vigilance" went at the same time and its whereabouts appear to be unknown.  I don't know the exact date of  the building's demolition but since the newspaper's new home on Hardman Street was completed in 2006, I think it is safe to conclude that it was around that time.  Below is an image taken in November 2007 by which time the building was gone but there were no obvious signs of the new building rising above the boards around the site.

Below is Number 2 Hardman Street, which became the newspapers new home.

Ironically, this seems to be a story of "going - going - gone!" because, as I write this in December 2010, the MEN has now moved out of 2 Hardman Street and relocated to a site in Oldham.  As you can see below, the sign is gone from the window.

The newspaper has though maintained a presence in the city centre, in Number 1 Piccadilly Gardens.


There has been quite a lot of change on this site over the years.  The drawing below is my interpretation of a map dated 1886.  It shows Rylands Library under construction.  Beside the library is a 4 storey warehouse block.  Between Cumberland Street and Hardman Street there was a complicated collection of buildings which included a large number of dwellings, some of them back-to-backs.   It also accommodated a bank, a pub, a carriage house and a variety of commercial businesses.

The corner of Hardman Street and Deansgate was empty but by 1904 the site became home to the spectacular art deco Northcliffe House.

In 1953, when the aerial photograph was taken, Northcliffe House was still there (D), beside it is a car showroom belonging to Lookers (C), then the warehouse block (B) and finally Rylands Library (A). 

If you click on the link below you will see the scene from Deansgate.

Deansgate Buildings 1968

The MEN office building, that once sat beside Rylands Library, was built roughly in a position occupied, in the aerial photograph above, by the warehouse block and Cumberland Street (I have used a purple rectangle to mark the approximate position).


Today the site is occupied by a new retail building owned by Armani, which was called 2 Spinningfield Square but now seems to be 1 The Avenue.

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