17 & 19 Newhall Street, Birmingham

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17 & 19 Newhall Street
Bell Edison Telephone Building.jpg
The Bell Edison Telephone Building (17-19 Newhall Street), Birmingham
General information
Type Office
Location Newhall Street, Birmingham, England
Coordinates 52°28′53.5″N 1°54′6.5″W / 52.481528°N 1.901806°W / 52.481528; -1.901806Coordinates: 52°28′53.5″N 1°54′6.5″W / 52.481528°N 1.901806°W / 52.481528; -1.901806
Completed 1896
Technical details
Floor count 3
Design and construction
Architect Frederick Martin
Awards and prizes Grade I listed

17 & 19 Newhall Street is a red brick and Architectural terracotta Grade I listed building on the corner of Newhall Street and Edmund Street in the city centre of Birmingham, England.

Overview[edit]

Originally having the postal address of 19 Newhall Street, it was built as the new Central Telephone Exchange and offices for the National Telephone Company (NTC) and is popularly known as the Bell Edison Telephone Building - the NTC logo behind the wrought iron gates to the main entrance includes those names. It was also known as Telephone Buildings within the organisation. The Central exchange had 5,000 subscribers and was the largest of its type in the country. The ground floor was let out to shops. The NTC was taken over by the Postmaster General in 1912 and the ownership transferred to the GPO. During World War I, it was the Midland headquarters of the air raid warning system.

Whereas Telephone House housed the telex automatic exchange, this building held a TAS exchange which was used by the GPO to route telegrams around the UK. It also housed the Birmingham office of the Post Office Engineering Union (basement floor in Edmund Street).

Relocation[edit]

The Central Telephone Exchange relocated down Newhall Street to new premises (Telephone House) in 1936.

It is now occupied by Associated Architects, and Phoenix Beard (a firm of property consultants). It currently uses the address The Exchange, 19 Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 3PJ, but the property occupies 17 & 19 Newhall Street and 103 Edmund Street. The basement, and entrance on Edmund Street, is occupied by a bar called Bushwackers.

The building was designed in 1896 by Frederick Martin of the firm Martin & Chamberlain.

See also[edit]

Bell Edison logo in porch

References[edit]