These images show the construction of the Main Building, part of Bradford Institute of Technology (BIT), which later became the University of Bradford.
BIT was created in 1956 as a College of Advanced Technology, hiving off higher education from the College; in 1966 the Royal Charter made it a University. BIT’s short life was dominated by the need to find space for expansion: growing numbers of staff and students and better facilities for research and teaching at this higher level. The Main Building was part of the solution. Eventually the Institute and the local council decided to expand the campus into the surrounding back streets, rather than move to a greenfield site as had been suggested.
As we see here, this required the demolition of many houses, with painful impact on the many people who had to move.
Main Building took four years to complete, beginning in May 1960, and was formally opened by Prime Minister and first Chancellor of the University Harold Wilson on 11 June 1965. Now known as Richmond Building, it has housed University administration, many academic departments and student facilities, and is probably the most visible and recognisable University building even today.
(The title is taken from a quotation in Robert McKinlay’s The University of Bradford: origins and development).