Landmark PALACE sign on clocktower will go

Palace name to disappear from city hotel

US investor Starwood Capital is to rebrand its UK hotels, including the Palace in Manchester, to Principal from 1 November following a £150m capital investment programme.

The Palace will shortly complete a £25m refurbishment that includes the New Refuge restaurant and bar, named after the original use as the office for the Refuge Assurance Company.

The distinctive illuminated red “PALACE” lettering on the clock tower will disappear following the rebrand and a new sign carrying the Principal name will be installed in its place.

The Principal Manchester will be joined at relaunch by hotels in Edinburgh and York, and followed in 2017 by others in Glasgow and London. The former Martins Bank, Liverpool will open as The Principal Liverpool in early 2018.

The Principal Manchester -The Refuge

The Principal Manchester, on the corner of Oxford Street and Whitworth Street, occupies three adjoining buildings dating to between 1895 and 1932. Designed by Alfred Waterhouse, his son Paul, and Stanley Birkett, all three buildings were commissioned by The Refuge Assurance Company as its company headquarters, and they include the 217ft clock tower.

The Principal Manchester - Heritage Bedroom

Following an investment of more than £25m, The Principal Manchester has been remodelled to create 270 bedrooms and suites designed by Michaelis Boyd Architects; 17 meeting and event spaces, including the largest hotel ballroom in the North West.

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Don’t think they should have the ability to remove the red ‘palace’ sign… surely it’s a historic landmark for the city!

By The Old Faithful

Can they ask the people who developed that horror show facing,known as the Student Castle, to take the letters from the side of that.Actually,just dynamite it. Principal,Palace, who cares? To me it will always be the Refuge building,from a day when Manchester did what it said on the tin, instead of all this Furcoat no knickers nonesense,of rebranding.Back Piccadilly now Northern Quarter. Knott Mill,Deansgate Locks,Chethams, the Medieval quarter.Bootle street, St Michaels. You can’t polish a txxd.

By Elephant

Why?! Another landmark lost. I love the illuminated signage on the tower. The least they could do is just leave the ‘P’ up there :-)

By David

Bit daft this. Dreamt up by someone who doesn’t know the city and that “The Palace” is a landmark.

The waves lick the beach on the sea of blandness. We’ll all be oblivious fish one day, not knowing there was once variety and diversity in our cities.

Although, people seem to think anytown developments like “Circle Square” represent uniqueness, so maybe we’re already there.

By zebith

Isn’t the illumination protected in some way?
My guess is that it’s historical etc.

By Baggins

would this require a planning application?

By kodi

Alas the red illuminated ‘Palace’ sign isn’t mentioned in the Listing, so the owners can legally get rid of it :( So sad to see another piece of Manchester’s built heritage swept away, especially by people who clearly haven’t understood what it means to local people.

By MancLass