Monday, June 24, 2024

Why We Lost?

Snow Hill station building, demolished 1969

Birmingham failed in its bid to become European’s Capital of Culture 2008. Why, one may ask? In 2003, according to Stephen Hartland, Chairman of The Civic Society Planning Committee, it was let down by its buildings.

Sir Jeremy Isaacs had said that: “Birmingham lacks iconic buildings and Liverpool (the winners) has a stock of very fine buildings” and Stephen wondered, therefore, is it a coincidence that most of Liverpool’s impressive buildings are pre-war and many of Birmingham’s buildings built since the war are bland and uninspired.

Stephen commented: “Unfortunately not many great buildings came out of the 1960s and 1970s and the period is marked by its destruction of many fine ones – our own original Central Library being one of them. Most people like buildings and urban design to be on a human scale and built of quality materials that make you want to love them.

“Birmingham demolished so many grand Victorian buildings like Snow Hill Station and New Street Station and those civic buildings near to Victoria Square which formed part of a group which the historian Asa Briggs reckoned to be the finest set of civic buildings anywhere in the country.”

Such a shame that we flattened all these fine buildings, amongst many others. Let’s hope we have learned a lesson – surely there are architects who can design buildings we can be proud of – and afford to manage afterwards!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -

Please Donate

The Hockley Flyer magazine if entirely funded by the advertising, but we could always do with a little bit more funding. The advertising not only pays for the design/printing, but also postage, delivery, all the associated paperwork/accounts, and research for the Heritage section. Our subscribers pay only a bit more then the postage/mailing costs, and the magazines are free - no cover price.

Subscribe to News Digest

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to for awesome content in your inbox with latest updates in a daily digest.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest Articles

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x