Telephone House

Last Update: 3 Jul 2016 | New Project Added

  • Address: 45-75 May Street, Belfast, BT1 3JL
  • Use: Other
  • Floors: 7
  • Cost: £48,474
  • Planning Status: Approved
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Start Date: November 1932
  • Completion Date: November 1935
  • Developer:

    Ministry of Finance

  • Architect:

    TFO Rippingham

  • Contractor:

    Stewart & Partners

A six storey building built 1932 – 1935 as Northern Ireland’s first automatic telephone exchange; replacing the former exchange at Queen Street.

The architect is reported to be either Roland Ingleby Smith or Thomas Francis O’Rippingham. Both worked for the Ministry of Finance although it is thought that O’Rippingham was more directly involved as project architect whilst Smith had a supervisory role as Chief Architect at the Ministry of Finance.

A works contract valued at £48,474 was signed with Stewart & Partners and works commenced in November 1932. The building was steel framed with the steelwork being fabricated at Harland & Wolff.

An official opening event was held on 25th November 1935 with the Postmaster General and then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Viscount Craigavon.

The building was originally L-shape on plan although an extension in 1959 formed a square block. At the same time a seventh story extension with pitched roof was added across the whole building.

A seven storey extension was added 1976 – 1977.

The building was bomb damaged in 1989.