1922 – Belfast Co-operative Society, York St., Belfast

Architect: Samuel Stevenson



Constructed in three stages between 1911-22, and later part of a complex, that included the 1930s Orpheus Building, the frontage of which stretched for nearly 500 feet. The three phases made up a four and five storey seventeen-bay building. In the late 1960s the original store was clad in horrendous, chocolate-coloured plastic panels, hiding its Edwardian origins. On the 10th May 1972 a large bomb exploded at York Street and destroyed the building. The ladies and menswear, drapery, carpets, soft furniture, hardware, and electrical departments were totally destroyed, while the Orpheus Block, containing the grocery, butchery, pharmacy and furniture departments, remained undamaged. The building was demolished and the foundations for a replacement were laid in November 1973. The replacement building had three bombs planted in it just before it was to open.

A photograph of the building after it was destroyed in the explosion.

Published August 5, 2016 | Last Updated July 9, 2024