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Constructed in Margate Town Centre in 1910, this propose-built Post Office and sorting depot replaced a terrace of earlier Georgian houses, some of which had been converted into Post Office use.  After a full century of use,  the Post Office withdrew from the building following privatisation, rationalisation of their estate and shrinkage into WHSmiths. After some years lying empty, my clients bought a three-storey piece of the rear of the building, with the aim of forming a dramatic new home in the double-height spaces, retaining as much as we can of the 1910 details, materials and spatial qualities. This is the only derelict part of the building, the rest having been converted into apartments a couple of years ago. The ground floor is soon to open as a deli-restaurant under separate ownership.

The story of the development of the building is fascinating. The black and white photo below shows the earlier buildings, all of which remains is the very left-hand bay of windows, though sadly the Palladian arch window was squared off (I suspect) around the 1950s.

The rich sepia photo below shows the Opening Ceremony in 1910; the Portland stone dressings looks bright, crisp and beautiful.  This grand neo-classical building is typical of the Edwardian period, demonstrating the pomp and rigorous control of the British Empire, just before the outbreak of the First World War. 


Cecil Square, Margate



The image to the left and above show the current forlorn state of the building. The stone and brickwork of the exterior has been left to decay. The interior was disrespectfully treated over the past decades, but fortunately all of the original glazed brickwork and oak parquet floors remain behind later - evidently less durable - finishes.

The two large openings blocked up used to lead through to the cavernous iron and glass-covered sorting yard. The white glazed bricks with maroon banding would have provided a wipe-clean surface in a space that would have bustled with sweat, canvas bags, ornate handwriting, paper and shouting.  

The photograph to the right is from elsewhere, but dates from the same period and gives a sense of how this part of the building would have been used.  It is a great shame that glazed atrium space was demolished; an act that showed little regard for its significant history, and no foresight at all.

The plans below show how we will convert the spaces into a single new home, retaining almost all of the historic fabric, working respectfully within its forms and celebrating its dignified materials.

The photo above shows the view from the rear, with the clear evidence of the former sorting yard roof, which is  oddly mis-aligned with the concrete-clad iron columns below. All former openings will be re-opened with new full-height glazing, and existing original windows will be retained and restored in their existing locations.

The photo to the right shows a row of original 1910 doors on the upper floor, all of which we will retain in situ. Far right you can see the internal ivory-coloured glazed bricks with later paint and ceramic tiles flaking off. The paint and tiles will be removed and brickwork restored.