Halford House, Leicester

The mixed fa├žade of Halford House

Originally constructed as headquarters on Charles Street for the Leicester Temperance Building Society, 1955-59, it was later taken over by the Alliance & Leicester Building Society. Now known as Halford House, it is in part occupied by Pick Everard Keay and Gimson, the architects who first conceived it. The building is a fascinating fusion of new norms of modernism with existing Art Deco forms, notably the central clock tower flanked by two wings, and the use of a bay window. Certainly the most striking feature is the decorative clock found top centre of the main fa├žade. This depicts the Four Winds Blowing, and was designed by local artist and educator Albert Pountney (1915-1982).

A unity of wind power, and time
The central, hexagonal clock tower

Blunts Shoes, Leicester

Green trim and grey stone

The city of Leicester, in the English midlands, is home to Blunts Shoes located on the corner at 128-132 Granby Street. The building was originally constructed in 1933 for the business of Nathan Harris Furnishings and features many fine Art Deco details. It was designed by the architects Symington, Prince and Pike who clad it in Portland limestone and covered it with a stylish pantile roof. The extra part on the left is a carefully blended extension from the early 1960s.

The other side of the corner
A close-up of the metal window grate
Another delightful detail of the Blunts Shoes building