RETRO: Faded glory of Castle House in Sheffield

Castle House boardroom
Castle House boardroom
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Star business editor David Walsh took these fantastic photographs when he visited Castle House to learn about future plans for the building.

He wanted to share them with Retro readers because they will bring back memories for shoppers and staff alike.

As David reported in The Star this week, Castle House will become a £3.5m incubator for digital start-up businesses.

The former Co-op in the Castlegate area is set to have an interior makeover before welcoming in small firms.

Sheffield City Council ran a competition for businesses to run the project, won by Sheffield-based Kollider Projects.

The five-storey partly-listed building on Angel Street has been mainly empty since the Co-op closed its f0rmer flagship department store in 2008.

Brightside and Carbrook Co-operative Society built the store which replaced one destroyed in the Blitz in December 1940.

The building was partly inspired by the famous Sears Roebuck store in Chicago.

The name Castle House refers to part of Sheffield Castle being under the building.

The suspended restaurant ceiling, seen on old and new pictures here, was only the second one in Europe. Stanley Layland designed the staircase relief mural and the store’s interior.

The choice of polished black Swedish granite exterior was unpopular with planning committee councillors, who likened it to a gravestone. The shop cost £925,000 including fittings.

Other opulent features included bronze and walnut doors and marble staircases.

The store’s official opening took place on May 13, 1964.