Newcastle historic listed building revealed after being covered in scaffolding for 20 years

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Newcastle's Pilgrim Street and Worswick Street buildings were covered with scaffolding for two decades.

Scaffolding which hid a Pilgrim Street building for more than two decades has finally been removed to reveal the refurbished Victorian architecture.

Listed buildings, comprising Worswick Chambers and 93-101 Pilgrim Street, are being refurbished by Taras Properties with the aim of turning the repurposed buildings into a leisure complex to be completed in late 2024.

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Worswick Chambers was initially built as part of the 'newcut' of Worswick Street in two phases back in 1891 and 1898. 93-101 Pilgrim Street were built in the late 18th Century.

Worswick Chambers was covered by scaffolding for two decades.Worswick Chambers was covered by scaffolding for two decades.
Worswick Chambers was covered by scaffolding for two decades.

The building is adorned with curious stone sculptures on both the Worswick Street and Pilgrim Street elevations at the second floor level. The carved heads were created by the local stonemason, John Rogers, and are reported to be based on individuals from his family's photograph album.

Alexandra Blaylock of Ryder Architecture said, “It’s fantastic to see the scaffolding come down on the Worswick Chamber’s façade, which has been covered for over 20 years. Walking along the street we’ve noticed other passersby are looking up and commenting on its reveal which is a reminder of the positive impact we are having on the city fabric.”

The buildings sit adjacent to the new Bank House office bock within Pilgrim Place comprising the southern block of the extensive Pilgrim Street regeneration area. The adjoining fire station site is being converted into a niche hotel. Pilgrim’s Quarter, (the northern block) will be the new home for 9,000 HMRC employees bringing new footfall which will positively stimulate the economy within the city centre.

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Neil Mandle, director of Avison Young, who is project managing the scheme, said: “The repair and conversion of listed buildings presents challenges, but they are a valuable part of the townscape, so its always rewarding to see them restored and brought back into use”

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