The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Events Archive

In Person: Twentieth Century Shops Lecture Series 6: Vitrolite Shopfronts



The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street

Twentieth Century Shops Lecture Series 6:  Vitrolite Shopfronts

Thursday  7 March at 6.30 pm

The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EJ

The sixth lecture in the series Twentieth Century Shops: From Arndale to Zara, marking the publication of 100 20th Century Shops.

Katriona Byrne will talk about the material heritage of Vitrolite shopfronts, from the application of this new glass cladding, invented before 1908, to bring modernity to the high street, to its role in lifting the USA out of depression and its endurance into the 1970s and beyond. The talk will point to what the study of these shopfronts can tell us about society and culture in the UK and Ireland.

Katriona Byrne is Deputy Head of the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design at Birmingham City University and course director of the MA in Conservation of the Historic Environment there.

In person price: C20 Society Members -  £10;  Non-Members - £ 15;  Young C20 member + guest- Free;  Student + guest- £5.

*For student pricing please select from the dropdown option next to 'membership number' on the booking form below.*

*For Young C20 members, please email  to secure a place.*

Includes a glass of wine

Note: This event is hybrid and is being run both in-person at Cowcross Street Gallery and online via Zoom. The event will be recorded and offered as a catch-up lecture for those who have booked and will be available for two weeks.

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The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.

The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244

Above image:  Oakwood Fish Bar, Leeds (1938-40) © Jonathan Taylor