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Find out more about the research being carried out in Sunderland's Heritage Action Zone, including building assessments, reports and findings.

Building Assessments

This research aims to ensure that we have a better understanding of the architectural and historical significance of buildings in Sunderland's Heritage Action Zone. We've assessed both Hutchinson's Buildings and Phoenix Hall and we'll make the reports describing our findings available soon.

We also assessed the Athenaeum Building on Fawcett Street. The research found that although much of the front and inside of the building dates from 1900, a closer inspection of other areas reveals a more complex history, showing more surviving evidence of the original 1840s building than first thought.

We undertook a further inspection of 170-175 High Street West following the completion of some urgent works and unearthed some interesting features of the building, such as red brick work and window frames.

Boarded up building on street corner with domed clock tower
Hutchinson's Building © Historic England

Historic Area Assessment

The Historic Area Assessment, which is being undertaken by Wardell Armstrong Archaeology, will help determine the character of Sunderland Heritage Action Zone, explain its significance, and highlight issues that have the potential to harm the area. Once completed, the assessment will inform the completion of Old Sunderland's Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy. 

As part of the research, we've carried out a project which studies the archive aerial photographs of the area. This fascinating research looks at the aerial photography of Sunderland from 1924-2017. Pre-war images provided an important record of Sunderland before the Second World War air raids and help illustrate the changes in the landscape.

Read the aerial report

Wardell Armstrong are asking you to share your thoughts and opinions on your favourite buildings in the area.

Take part in the survey

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