170-175 High Street West
Client - Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust
Historic terraces that housed the first Binns Department Store in Sunderland will form heart of High Street rejuvention
For more than two centuries a row of houses – 170-175 High Street West – has stood at the centre of Sunderland’s high street. Built as the burgeoning town stretched up the hill away from the docks, the buildings were rapidly adapted for commercial use when they housed the drapery shop of George Binns and his son Henry. Over subsequent generations, the small drapery shop expanded to regional dominance as Binns Department Store. But the buildings that provided Binns’ first home fell into disrepair. Now in crumbling condition, the houses have been purchased by Sunderland City Council and gifted to Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust (TWBPT), in a last-ditch effort to restore these unique witnesses to Sunderland’s past, and to offer them a new lease of life.