For me, Oldham town centre has a lot to answer for in fostering my love of post-1945 architecture. The much derided St. Peter’s Precinct and its Civic Centre were my catalyst and the start of a love affair with the sculptural properties of reinforced concrete. Today, I know I’m in Oldham if I see the latter building. Most of this is thanks to the County Borough of Oldham’s one time architect Tom Cartlidge.
According to today’s Oldham Evening Chronicle, Councillor Jim McMahon aims to create 2,015 jobs by 2015, with flagship schemes to add a new hotel and conference centre. This would also include the old town hall’s conversion to a multiplex cinema.
It was this recent story which inspired me to write about another grand design, this time from 1948.
Besides being a century since Oldham’s first bus left The Star Inn, 2013 is also the anniversary of an unrealised plan which would have had a great affect on the town centre. By great affect, I mean anything much greater than the opening of Spindles Shopping Centre, Gallery Oldham, St. Mary’s Estate or Mahdlo. One which would have upset the grid pattern of some of the town centre’s older streets. Continue reading “Oldham’s Grand Design, 1948 Style”→