New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Birmingham’s Retort House to become a base for homeless people.

Posted September 28th, 2008 by Birmingham Conservation Trust with 2 Comments
Gas Retort House, image from wikipedia.

Gas Retort House, image from wikipedia.

Earlier this month the homeless charity Crisis reported that they have secured a two million pound investment from the Department of Communities and Local Government to help turn the Grade II* former Retort House in Gas Street into

an inspirational, world-class centre for delivering seamless homeless services. The building will enable Crisis to set up a new Skylight centre and allow SIFA Fireside to join relocate their existing provision. It is anticipated, that the centre will also be used by a range of partners, to provide complimentary services to the main offer from Crisis and SIFA Fireside, particularly focusing on health.
Crisis is now seeking further capital to develop the project. If you’d like to find out more information about this project, please contact us on 020 7426 3849.

The most recent entry on the English Heritage register describes the building as:

Retort house. Early C19. Current owner intends to let the building for range of leisure uses. Repairs have been completed and marketing has been in progress for some time, but specific end uses and users still to be determined. Discussions have taken place on possible subdivision of building to assist in marketing to potential occupants. Still for sale or let.

Although this is now clearly in the process of changing, which is great news.

Andy Foster, in his marvellous Pevsner Architectural Guide to Birmingham tells us that:

It was built with a fire proof ‘iron roof and slates’ and the roof survives inside: cast-iron trusses, wrought iron roof rods.

For more on the history of this important survivor of the earliest gas supply processes, take a look at this wikipedia page.

Photo courtesy of Oosoom on wikipedia.

2 Responses to “Birmingham’s Retort House to become a base for homeless people.”

  1. Nick Booth March 24, 2009

    Thanks Billy, I’ve fixed the link. Love your shots on Flickr – particularly this one:

    and your interestingness set here:

    If you get any shots of Brum’s built heritage feel free to tag them Birminghamct – which will bring them onto the front page of this site.


  2. Billy March 24, 2009

    Interesting article, wikipedia link is broken


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