When Joe Sunlight wanted to build a 40-storey office block just off Deansgate in Manchester city centre one hundred years ago the ministry of town and country planning told him he could have just 14 floors.
So Manchester had the opportunity of competing with other great cities in creating magnificent mile-high monuments towers as New York and Chicago were but was too conservative and frightened to make its mark architecturally. The restrictions resulted nevertheless in the magnificent Sunlight House, one of Manchester’s few art deco buildings.
Now in 2020, a hundred years late, Manchester is reaching for the sky as the city gains infamy nationwide with locals gaping open-mouthed at the terrible tasteless tacky towers sprouting everywhere complete with football transfer price tags amid the fear that these will be the slummy Hulme Crescents and Turkey Lanes of the future.
Ed Glinert builds the case.