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Harris Institute

A Grade II* Listed Building in Preston, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.7547 / 53°45'16"N

Longitude: -2.6991 / 2°41'56"W

OS Eastings: 354000

OS Northings: 428933

OS Grid: SD540289

Mapcode National: GBR T9Z.8M

Mapcode Global: WH85M.HWXF

Plus Code: 9C5VQ832+V9

Entry Name: Harris Institute

Listing Date: 27 September 1979

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1207231

English Heritage Legacy ID: 391876

Location: City Centre, Preston, Lancashire, PR1

County: Lancashire

District: Preston

Electoral Ward/Division: Town Centre

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Preston

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Preston St John and St George the Martyr

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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941-1/14/5 (North side)
27/07/79 Harris Institute


Formerly known as: The Preston Institution for the Diffusion
of Useful Knowledge.
Mechanics institute, subsequently the Technological and
Science and Art School; now art school. 1846-9, by John Welch,
with terraced forecourt of 1849 by George Latham; and
additions to rear c.1883. Sandstone ashlar, slate roof with
glass skylights. Double-pile plan, plus later additions to the
rear. Classical style. Two storeys and 3 bays raised up on a
full basement storey (which is projected to form a terraced
forecourt: see below); symmetrical, with a central portico,
paired corner pilasters, moulded frieze, and dentilled cornice
with blocking course. The portico has 2 giant fluted columns
with composite caps in antis, the antae with delicate
anthemion enrichment to the caps (which is repeated on the
corner pilasters), and an emphatic dentilled pediment; and the
date "1847" inscribed on the soffit of the entablature. The
entrance under the portico has an architrave with frieze
inscribed SCHOOL OF ART, a large elaborately carved cresting,
an added stone plaque above this inscribed HARRIS INSTITUTE,
and a deeply recessed porch with a pedimented doorway.
Flanking the portico are tripartite bay windows with panelled
aprons, square columnar mullions, and corniced entablatures.
Hipped roof over each main block, and between these a
rectangular lantern and 2 corniced chimney stacks. The
forecourt, approached by a wide flight of steps in 2 stages,
the lower with a curved splay, has retaining walls of banded
rustication with rock-faced battered piers, and a prominent
dentilled cornice, and the whole is protected by balustrades
with square panelled piers, those at the foot of the steps
carrying urns. The left side has a rock-faced basement storey
with a central doorway, and above this a re-entrant with an
open colonnaded corridor (now partly glazed) linking the end
walls of the front and rear blocks, which have paired corner
pilasters, and banded rustication and coupled sashed windows
at ground floor. Continued to rear is late C19 addition of 2
storeys and 4 bays, in simple classical style.
INTERIOR: 2-cell entrance hall, the front cell with side
screens composed of stone columns distyle in antis (now closed
with glazed doors and partitions), and both cells with
coffered ceilings which have plaster cornices with waterleaf
and bead-and-reel enrichment; imperial staircase with
elaborate cast-iron balusters; lecture room in rear block with
raked seating; former exhibition room at 1st floor of front
block (now partitioned), with roof trusses supported by
scrolled consoles, and illumination by skylights. History:
Institution, founded in 1828, removed to this site from
original premises in Cannon Street despite protests of some
founder members that it would no longer serve the classes for
whom it was intended; function partly superseded by Free
Library opened in 1872, and subsequently by Harris Library and
Museum (q.v.); converted and enlarged from 1882 to serve as
Technological College, parent institution of Harris Technical
School in Corporation Street which ultimately became
Lancashire Polytechnic.

Listing NGR: SD5400928923

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