Great West Road
Factory (and gates) built 1928.
Grade II statutory listed.
English Heritage Listing
Central gates, gate piers and railings to the former Firestone Factory. 1928 by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners.
Reinforced concrete, cast iron railings and lanterns. The former central pedestrian entrance to the Firestone Factory, comprising a pair of outer piers, two runs of original railings; a pair of gate piers with double gates; two plinths supporting lanterns either side of a flight of shallow steps; and a pair of lower piers at the top of the stairs.
The piers are designed in a highly characteristic Jazz Modern idiom: they are pylon-shaped, with staggered keystone motifs to the tops and fluting to the upper friezes. The lantern plinths have similar profiles, but also include central sections with scrolled ornament. The railings are Egyptian in style, with square rails with blunt terminals. The gates are similar in style, with central circular bosses with shields containing the letter ‘F’, supported on X-motifs. The lanterns behind have square bases, with winged ‘F’s to each face, set between wings; the tapering standards are circular in section, and reeded; the distinctive lanterns on top have chevron ornament to each face, and gilt ribs to each angle. The other stretches of railings and piers have been compromised by the loss of the original railings and are not included within this list description.
HISTORY: this was the central pedestrian entrance to the now-demolished Firestone Factory, designed by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners in 1928 and celebrated as one of the finest inter war factories; it was demolished in 1980 on the eve of being decreed a listed building. The factory embodied the industrial expansion of inter war London; the rise of arterial roads with factories built on them; the development of the automotive industry, following the growth of road transport; and the strongly Modernistic architectural flavour that these factories were given. Wallis, Gilbert were the leading architects of such Jazz Age buildings.
Firestone factory demolished in 1980, over an August Bank holiday weekend, just days before a Building Preservation Order was going to be enacted. This spurred the Historic Buildings Committee of the DofE to recommend 150 inter-war buildings for listing, within a year.
The Firestone Factory on Brentford and Chiswick Local History Society
Aerial shot of the Firestone Factory, 1928
Traffic jam outside the factory, c1930
Close ups and photos from before destruction