Spirella Building, Letchworth, Herts, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bill&ben
N 51° 58.848 W 000° 13.888
30U E 690124 N 5762522
Quick Description: The iconic UK manufacturing base of the Spirell Corset Company.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/17/2010 9:46:54 AM
Waymark Code: WM82RT
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member kbarhow
Views: 2

Long Description:
The magnificent Spirella Building was created between 1912 and 1920 as the UK manufacturing base of the famous Spirella Corset Company. Its founder, William Wallace Kincaid, (1868 - 1964) an American entrepreneur, came to Letchworth Garden City after hearing about the establishment of a new community - the world's first Garden City - and the man behind it, Ebenezer Howard (1850 - 1928).

Kincaid, like Howard, was a man ahead of his time and he commissioned architect Cecil Hignett to design a state-of-the art factory of great beauty. The factory was completed in 1920, Kincaid had achieved his goal; The Spirella Building provided the perfect environment for his workers to be happy, contented and highly productive, and was worthy of being called 'The Factory of Beauty'.

A symmetrically planned factory building grouped round 3 sides of a court yard.
This is a major work in the Arts and Crafts manner, but adapted to a monumental
scale. The 4 corner pavilions are linked by lower workshop ranges. The pavilions
have hipped tile roofs with gablets and gabled dormers. The construction is brown brick with plain stone band below eaves level and at first floor. Recessed window bays with
mullioned windows of reinforced concrete with leaded casements. Connecting
workshops with industrial glazing below segmental arches.

During the 1960s and 1970s demand waned and the building slowly went into decline. In 1994 Letchworth Garden City Corporation purchased the Grade 2* listed building. In 1997 the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation started work on the £11m restoration.
Product manufactured here: Corsetry

Spirella Building
Bridge Road
Letchworth, Herts UK

Web Page: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
A unique picture of the location would be appreciated. Try to include yourself or your group in the frame if you are not shy. Give your impressions of the location in your log. You can also log a visit by including a photograph of one of the products made by the factory "in situ". You'll have to look it up. Log type should be "write note" in this case. Include a comment as to where you found the product and some other details you noted. Be sure to make it clear that product was made by the factory in question. Your posted image should clearly indicate this. When you post a visit of this type, please send a note to kbarhow to indicate you have completed one of these.
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