Hunslet Mill was one of the great flax spinning mills and was built in Leeds in the late 1830s.
Grade II* listed, it was also one of the earliest fire-proof buildings of its kind but today the monolithic waterside property stands forlorn and empty.
Dr Kevin Grady, director of Leeds Civic Trust, said: “We hope that Hunslet Mill will one day be part of a residential development. It has modern housing just a few yards downstream of it on the riverside and until the recession, housing was also advancing towards on the riverbank from the city centre.
“With the desperate need for more residential provision in the city, developing it on brownfield sites such as this is a priority.
“Marshall’s Mill in Marshall Street, Holbeck is a great example of how such buildings can be successfully developed for offices.
He added: “The building was listed in the mid 1980s. The high grade listing is not only because it a very striking and monumental piece of waterside architecture but in particular it was one of the earliest example of fire-proof construction used in a textile mill.
“Fires were a very frequent occurrence in mills of all descriptions. The millwright who designed and built it was the brother of Sir Peter Fairbairn (who was mayor of Leeds when Queen Victoria came to Leeds to open the Town Hall in 1858).”
Plans to build houses on the site some years ago have not been realised.