Some properties have that certain aura about them. Standing there so proudly within bustling suburbs or vast industrial estates. In first glance, you immediately begin to envision its genesis and what stories lie within. These are the properties that make us appreciate architecture, history and the impact they have on our culture. The Hoover Building is one such property that has seen an array of commercial usage throughout its lifespan.
Photo by: Ewan Munro / CC-BY-SA-2.0
Situated in Greenford, Greater London, The Hoover Building was built by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners for the vacuum cleaner manufacturer, The Hoover Company in 1933.
During the Second World War it was used to manufacture aircraft parts and was camouflaged to avoid German aircraft bombings. Then in 1938, Building No 7 was added and used as the canteen for the factory. Hoover continued its manufacturing of cleaners in the building up until the 1980s and then production moved to the Cambulsang facility.
Meanwhile, the office was the only part being used by Hoover and then after a few years it left the site, leaving it empty in a deteriorating state for a further few years. The original building and canteen block were then granted a Grade II listing in 1980.
Eventually in 1989, supermarket chain Tesco purchased the main building and 16 of its 17 houses that backed out onto the site. The aim was to build a Tesco Supermarket at the rear of the site as well as restore the original building and canteen, to then turn them into offices. Construction on the site started in 1991 and finished with the supermarket being built in November 1992. It even made its way into popular culture, where Elvis Costello recorded a song entitled Hoover Factory, where the building and its position in London were described.
It stands there to this day and is a stellar example of how a commercial property can capture your imagination.
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