Commercial building with ground-floor retail units and offices to the upper floors, 1883, by W H Crossland with sculptural work by C E Fucigna. Sandstone ashlar, slate roof, substantial ashlar ridge stacks. C19 Queen Anne style with French influences and classical Greek sculpture.
Somerset Buildings, of 1883 by W H Crossland, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
- Architectural quality: its eclectic C19 Queen Anne styling displays a strong level of architectural flair, incorporating French and Flemish Renaissance influenced detailing to successful effect;
- Architect: it was designed by the notable Huddersfield architect WH Crossland, who has many listed buildings to his name, and is an excellent example of his work;
- Sculptural interest: the elevations incorporate high-quality sculptural work by the Italian sculptor Ceccardo Egidio Fucigna, and include references to Huddersfield's close links with the textile trade, as well as the building's links with the Ramsden family;
- Interior interest: despite some later alteration the interior retains a number of notable features, including the atrium roof with its elegant mild-steel trusses, balustraded galleries to the two uppermost floors, and offices with original internal windows looking out onto the galleries;
- Group value: it has strong group value with nearby listed buildings, a number of which were also designed by Crossland.
Somerset Buildings was constructed in 1883 to the designs of the notable Huddersfield architect, William Henry Crossland, with sculptural work by Ceccardo Egidio Fucigna, and was commissioned by the Ramsden family who owned much of the town at this time. The building was built as an office and shop development, and also housed Huddersfield's first public library and art gallery from 1898-1940. Retail was confined to the ground floor, whilst the upper floors comprised offices arranged around a central atrium; an arrangement that survives in the present day. The interior has undergone some later alteration in places, including the flooring over of the atrium levels in c1940.