Spirella BuildingEdit profile
The Spirella Building was created between 1912 and 1920 as the UK manufacturing base of the Spirella Corset Company. Its founder, William Wallace Kincaid, (1868 - 1964) an American entrepreneur, came to Letchworth Garden City after hearing about the establishment of a new community - the world's first Garden City - and the man behind it, Ebenezer Howard.
Kincaid commissioned architect Cecil Hignett to design a state-of-the art factory of great beauty. The factory was completed in 1920, Kincaid had achieved his goal; The Spirella Building provided the perfect environment for his workers to be happy, contented and highly productive, and was worthy of being called "The Factory of Beauty".
- 1910 - Spirella Company operational in temporary wooden sheds in Nevells Road.
- 1912 - Work is completed on the Spirella Building's factory workshop block - the section nearest the railway.
- 1914 - The central section, featuring the Spirella Ballroom, is completed.
- 1920 - The work is completed and the Spirella Company moves in.
- 1939 - An Extension and outbuildings are created, but not to the standard of Hignett's original design.
- 1979 - Grade ll* listing of building.
- 1994 - Letchworth Garden City Corporation, the predecessor of the Heritage Foundation, purchases the Spirella Building.
- 1995 - Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation takes over the ownership and management of Letchworth Estate.
- 1997 - Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation starts work on the £11m restoration.
- 1998 - Construction of the main building is completed in the autumn.
- 1999 - HRH The Prince of Wales formally opens the building. The project wins the UK Property Innovation of the Year award at the Property Week Oscars and over 300 former Spirella employees attend a reunion in the ballroom.
- 2000 - A second building, Spirella 2, is completed in the spring.
- 2001 - The gardens at the front of the building are tastefully redesigned.
- 2003 - As Letchworth Garden City celebrates its Centenary, the Spirella Building welcomes visitors from far and wide.
- 2005 - Spirella building opens its doors once more for the Heritage Open Days.