Remembering Leeds - A retail jewel under construction

This intriguing photo showcases what would become a jewel in the city's retail crown under construction.

Sunday, 29th November 2020, 11:30 am
Updated Monday, 30th November 2020, 8:40 am
PIC: Leeds Libraries,
PIC: Leeds Libraries,

December 1931 and work was well underway on Lewis's department store as seen from the junction of New Briggate (off to right) and The Headrow (left).

The site was bought for £160,000 and the area was cleared of several old yards. The store was planned to have five retail floors and also basements store service floors.

The firm of Waygood-Otis are responsible for the installation of the lifts and escalators. This is a British offshoot of Otis Elevator Company who first introduced 'moving stairs' or escalators to the world in 1899.

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Lewis's was the place to go for generations of aspirational shoppers and bargain-hunters all keen for their fix of retail therapy.

It opened on the newly-widened Headrow in September 1932 but was not completed until 1939, when three more floors had been added.

Lewis's would serve the city for more than 60 years before becoming an Allders in the mid-1990s.

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18 memories of Leeds department store Lewis's


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