Reality Estates That The Heroes Got: 4. Primrose Bank and Crete Street Tower Blocks

Montrose House and Primrose House: Partington’s short lived twin towers, on opposite sides of Ashton Road

Montrose House, Oldham
Montrose House, Hathershaw: a black and white view of the tower block. Image © 1974 Paul Thorpe.

Throughout the United Kingdom, local authorities were given incentives to build taller tower blocks for slum clearance schemes. As well as heights, there were incentives to adopt experimental building systems. For example: Sectra, Bison, and Jespersen. As well as speeding up the slum clearance schemes, a lot of builders made a packet. Continue reading “Reality Estates That The Heroes Got: 4. Primrose Bank and Crete Street Tower Blocks”

Reality Estates That The Heroes Got: 3. Ashfield Valley, Rochdale

The foolish man built his house upon the marsh…

Ashfield Valley
One of the twenty-six blocks which made up the Ashfield Valley estate. Photograph: © 1983 Banksider.

If you visited Rochdale in the mid to late 1970s and had an interest in modernist and brutalist architecture, you were in for a treat. As well as its soon to be demolished bus station, you could place its brown clad shopping centre. You knew you entered the Lancashire town after seeing the Seven Sisters tower blocks in Spotland. Continue reading “Reality Estates That The Heroes Got: 3. Ashfield Valley, Rochdale”

Endangered 20th Century Buildings and Structures of Northern England: The Not So Perfect Ten

Architectural treasures under threat or once under threat of demolition, or insensitive development in Northern England

Awaiting demolition? The Clarence Flour Mills has lay in waiting for the demolition men since its closure in December 2005.

The Economist, often an esteemed journal contained an article which echoed Policy Exchange’s plans for the development of Northern England. To be precise, we should mean non-development, controlled demolition, managed decline or a second Harrying Of The North. In other words, turning Kingston-upon-Hull, Burnley, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough into smaller versions of Detroit. Continue reading “Endangered 20th Century Buildings and Structures of Northern England: The Not So Perfect Ten”

Preston Bus Station Now Grade II Listed Building

  • Victory for Bus and Architecture Geeks
  • Euston Arch of the Motorway Age saved from possible demolition
  • Cllr Rankin: ‘Very disappointing but not altogether unexpected’
Preston Bus Station, view from Tithe Barn Street
Saved: Preston Bus Station, seen in August 2011.

If you’ve spent the best part of your formative years en route to Blackpool or Morecambe, there’s every chance you would have come across what was Britain’s biggest bus station. For many bus and coach fanatics, it is probably their equivalent to Crewe or Birmingham New Street railway stations. Continue reading “Preston Bus Station Now Grade II Listed Building”

A Modernist Mooch Around Oldham Town Centre

Modernist architecture within Oldham Town Centre

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.

Continue reading “A Modernist Mooch Around Oldham Town Centre”