Stevenson Square was built as a speculative development in the 1780s, originally planned as a middle class residential area. Its developer William Stevenson bought land on the north-east edge of the growing Georgian town and laid out a grid of streets around a rectangular square.
The residential aspect of the suburb was not a success and by the early 19th Century the area was being developed with cotton warehouses and mills. This caused a decline in the social status of the area and by the end of the 19th Century, the area was densely developed with commercial buildings alongside workers’ housing.
In 1893 the site of Sevendale House was crossed by Bennett Street and occupied by a mixture of houses and small warehouses with inner yards. By the 1890s the success of the cotton trade led to much larger warehouses being built on amalgamated plots, changing the urban grain and scale of the area.
Sevendale House was built as a trade warehouse for I.J. & G.Cooper Ltd in 1903-6 and designed by Manchester architect John Bowden. The footprint of Sevendale House occupies a double urban block with principal elevations fronting Dale Street, Lever Street and Stevenson Square.
The warehouse was considered to be innovative at the time, with a steel-frame, concrete floors and internal lightwell.