Joseph Sunlight


1889 – 1978

 Credit ยป

Who was Joseph Sunlight?

Joseph Sunlight, was a Belarusian/ English architect whose energy amassed him a great fortune in Manchester and left at least one fine building in Sunlight House.

Born Novogrudok, Belarus, then part of Russia, his Jewish family were named Schimschlavitch, his father a cotton merchant. In later life, Sunlight enjoyed to "dine out" on tales of his family's adventures and brushes with the Tsarist authorities but it is suspected that these were largely fanciful. The family emigrated to England in 1890 to avoid conscription and settled in Manchester, probably choosing their new name from Port Sunlight.

Sunlight was apprenticed to an architect in Manchester in 1904 and by 1907 had his own practice in St Ann's Square. Reputedly, by 1910, he had designed and built more than 1000 houses in Prestwich and claimed that by 1921 he had created more than one million pounds' worth of property.

He also designed and built factories and warehouses but his greatest memorial is Sunlight House. In 1949, he proposed a 40-storey extension but it was rejected by the city council. His sole religious building was the technically innovative South Manchester Synagogue.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

  • United Kingdom
Apr 15, 1978

on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Joseph Sunlight." STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Sep. 2023. <>.

Discuss this Joseph Sunlight biography with the community:


    Our awesome collection of

    Promoted Bios