Shoe and Boot Foundry, Leeds

Application to clear a site, which includes the industrial street frontage of Macaulay Street in Mabgate, Leeds:

Granted, these buildings are utilitarian industrial buildings, without any notable merit architecturally, however as the Mabgate area of Leeds is dependent on cultural regeneration, the crumbling historic tissue of the quarter is vital, particularly to anchor character and povide cues for the wave of forthcoming development.

The above is a shoe and boot foundary according to maps from the 1890s. The bracketing attached to the sofits presumably once held bold signage, and provides an interesting feature for the street. It shouldn’t take a huge leap of the imagination to see how such stock would appeal to the burgeoning student population in the area. Stick a micro brewery and tap room in there, and suddely Macaulay Street is a destination within the Mabgate mileiu.

If the buildings go, then Macauley Street will be bereft of identity, and become nothing more than an access road for the bin lorries serving the student blocks.

Its a hard sell, but retaining shabby and unardorned stock to punctuate a street front as the infil comes, is right out of Jane Jacobs’ playbook.


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