A historic building at the heart of Birmingham's civic quarter has gone on the market
Louisa Ryland House – named after a major benefactor to Birmingham in the 1800s – has been been put up for sale by the city council.
The grade II-listed building is being offered up for offices but could also be turned into a mixed-use scheme with conversion to include restaurants, cafes and bars deemed acceptable in principle.
The new buyer would land a prominent, central building with a courtyard which has been part of city life since 1879 and which adjoins the grade I-listed School of Art.
The 93,000 sq ft building has recently been used for Birmingham City Council offices but has become surplus to requirements in recent years amid cutbacks.
The Post recently reported it had been offered as an alternative location for the Birmingham Conservatoire, which is being knocked down as part of the Paradise Circus development.
The council's planning department has produced a development brief for Louisa Ryland House outlining a series of mixed-use and single-use development options that are acceptable in principle.
"Development proposals will require planning and listed building consent which must be sympathetic to the listed building status and should look to improve its setting and appearance where possible," it added.
The building, which underwent a major redevelopment in 1985, has been part of civic life in the city for more than a century.
The site was originally three separate buildings – The Medical Institute, built at 96 Edmond Street in 1879, the Broad School offices at 98 Edmund Street, built in 1881, and the Parish Offices building, at 100-102 Edmund Street and built in 1883.
It underwent major conversion in the 1980s with the façade retained and supported by a modern steel frame structure behind, with reinforced concrete floors with mainly raised access floors, suspended ceilings throughout with timber framed double glazed windows.
The roof is principally of mansard construction with mineral felt roof covering.
Louisa Anne Ryland became a millionaire on the death of her father, Samuel Ryland, whose family fortune was made in the wire drawing industry and went on to make major donations used to create public parks.
The largest of these, donated in 1873, was some 80 acres and became Cannon Hill Park.
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