York Assembly Rooms

York Assembly Rooms

The Assembly Rooms are situated near York Minster, off Blake Street. The buildings were designed by Lord Burlington, who also designed Westminster School. The Assembly Rooms were built for dancing and entertainment in 1730, although it took a few years for them to be used on a regular basis.

In 1825 the York Herald noted that the building was a magnificent building internally, but was “a gloomy, dilapidated and filthy pile of building” from the outside. Amendments were made to the exterior of the building in 1828. In 1904 the Assembly Rooms held an appeal to restore the building, and a booklet covering the history of the building was distributed by Arthur Anderson of Coney Street in York.

The building was purchased by The York Corporation in 1925, and substantial restoration began in 1951, costing 30,000 pounds. The restoration was required as the Ministry of Food had used the building during the Second World War, and  survey of the building afterwards discovered that the walls supporting the roof were bending at the base and that the dance floor was unsafe to use.

As part of the 1951 restoration, The York Georgian Society appealed at the time for some period furniture for the Assembly Rooms, which itself intended to donate two mirrors and two eagle console tables, at a total cost of 300 pounds. The mural painter Paul Wyeth was also involved with painting murals for the inside of the Rooms.

The York Conservation Trust purchased the building in November 2002.

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