“The Victoria Baths was designed as a prestigious baths complex by Manchester’s first City Architect, Henry Price back in 1902 and was built at a cost of £59,000. Its facade was constructed in red brick and terracotta and its interior spaces clad in glazed tiles from floor to ceiling. Most of the windows had decorative stained glass including the famous Angel of Purity.
For 86 years the Victoria Baths provided both essential and leisure facilities. At the time of opening, few of the houses in the area had bathrooms so its 64 slipper baths or ‘wash baths’ were an important amenity. The 1st Class Pool – or Gala Pool – was designed so that it could be floored over during the winter months and used as a venue for dances, concerts and lectures. In 1993, Manchester City Council decided to close the Baths could not justify the high cost of maintenance and remedial repairs. The decision prompted huge protests including an effort to occupy the building.
The terracotta and stained glass windows in the front of Victoria Baths have all been fully restored. The roofs on this section of the building have been re-slated and the original lead and cast iron rainwater goods refurbished.”
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