Shredded Wheat factory is one of the top 100 buildings of 20th Century

PUBLISHED: 14:57 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:37 26 February 2014

The former Shredded Wheat factory in WGC

The former Shredded Wheat factory in WGC


Welwyn Garden City’s Shredded Wheat factory has joined Battersea Power Station, The Cenotaph, and The Royal Festival Hall on an influential list of the past century’s best buildings.

How the former Shredded Wheat factory looks todayHow the former Shredded Wheat factory looks today

The empty Broadwater Road industrial unit will appear with the London landmarks in The Twentieth Century Society’s 100 Buildings 100 Years book in the autumn.

It was put forward by respected architectural broadcaster and writer Gillian Darley as the entry for 1926.

She wrote: “The ranked silos and spreading sheds alongside the railway track in WGC have always fascinated me, glimpsed almost kinetically from the train windows.

“American companies, drawn by innovation, were quicker off the mark to move into Ebenezer Howard’s radical ‘cities’.

How the iconic building looked in yesteryearHow the iconic building looked in yesteryear

“Here, long before I’d learned that le Corbusier had published the grain stores of the American Midwest prairies as the epitome of modern form following function, was an anglicised version, a cathedral in a leafy Beaux-Arts planned town.”

Despite the praise heaped on the Grade-II listed edifice, it is described as being in “poor condition”.

Retail giant Tesco owns the site and plans to build a superstore there were greeted with controversy.

It has since been a target for urban explorers and illegal travellers.

Plans for the site’s complete redevelopment are expected to be unveiled in the near future.

A spokesman for the retail giant’s property arm Spenhill said: “We know how important the Broadwater Road site is to WGC and we intend to bring forward a residential scheme later this year.

“We look forward to working closely with councillors, council officers, the WGC Society, the Heritage Trust, and the wider community on our plans.”

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