Waldorf House, Manchester
Built as the first Masonic Lodge in Greater Manchester in 1863 its membership grew so fast that a new lodge was built on Bridge Street in 1930 and Waldorf House was turned into a hotel (more a restaurant and function room venue) and by the 1960’s a pub and a night-club popular with George Best. Its next transition was to offices and much of the interior was gutted at that time. In the Masonic Hall, however, some of the original plasterwork and decorative pilasters did survive and are being restored. Major walls are being lime plastered again to maintain a breathable wall and some of the lath and plaster ceilings, especially in the snooker room, are being reinstated whilst other areas are being restored.
The shell will then be fitted out with 24 apartments to let including two duplex apartments in the Masonic Hall. Great care is being taken to avoid further damage to the historic structure but, sadly, it is not realistic or appropriate to return all the lost fabric. The flats are aimed at the high-end market and will produce outstanding, contemporary, living in the very heart of the city. Completion due in May 2021.