BEST OF EWM 1996-2002 PHOTO GALLERY - All photos by Aidan O'Rourke

THE CENTRAL LIBRARY is one of Manchester's most-visited buildings and one of its most impressive. Its design is inspired by the Albert Hall in London and it was opened in a ceremony attended by the King in 1934. Its exterior stone was cleaned around 1999. This is how it looked in 2001.

EWM says: This is perhaps my favourite building in Manchester and one which I have many associations with. I revised for my A Levels here and regularly use it today for research. A building as magnificent as this could not be built today.

ST PETERS SQUARE AND THE CENTRAL LIBRARY seen from Century House, in the north eastern corner of St Peters Square. It's 1999, shortly before the Central Library exterior was cleaned. The Midland Hotel is on the left.

EWM says: Many regard this view as definitive of Manchester. It's interesting to note that the square we see is mainly a product of the first half of the 20th century.

THE CIS BUILDING AND TRANSPORT INTERCHANGE SITE SEEN FROM THE ARNDALE CENTRE. The CIS building dates from around 1962, and is still regarded as Manchester's finest post-war building. Its American-influenced style came about after CIS executives visited the USA in the 1950's. This is the scene in 1999. Under construction on the left is the new spiral ramp, part of the Arndale Centre car park.

EWM says: Cranes are a symbol of the regeneration of Manchester and many of them can be seen on the city skyline. Though Manchester has been transformed by redevelopment the 40 year old CIS building remains unchallenged as the city's tallest and arguably best post-war building. What does this tell us about modern architecture in Manchester in the years following its construction.

THE POST BOX ON CORPORATION STREET withstood the unimaginable force of the bomb planted by IRA terrorists just a few feet away from this spot in June 1996. It was cleaned, renovated and restored to its original location in a transformed Corporation Street. This is how it looked in 2001.

EWM says: The bomb seems a distant memory, and many regard it as a blessing in disguise. But what if it had gone off prematurely? This photograph was used in an exhibition about the regeneration of cities held in New York in mid-2001.

THE HOLY NAME CHURCH was inspired by French cathedrals and is one of the few older buildings to survive in the area of Manchester university campus. Here it is in 1999 seen from the rear. We are looking from the car park off Upper Brook Street and the church is silhouetted against a pink and purple dusk sky. Leafless trees are also silhouetted, filling up the frame.

EWM says: It is now impossible to take this view, as a new building, part of Manchester University, has appeared on the site, and trees have been removed.

THE LOWRY SALFORD QUAYS with the nearby apartment building under construction, as it looked in autumn 2001. The Lowry is built on a triangular site onced used for loading and unloading ships, and was designed by Michael Wilford. The new footbridge can be seen on the right. A flock of birds passes from right to left.

EWM says: This photograph, showing the construction of the new apartment block next to the Lowry Galleria, was used on the cover of a 2002 diary.

TRAFFORD ROAD BRIDGE captured on black and white film in 1987 has the brooding atmosphere of a wet, wintry evening in Salford. We are looking along Trafford Road from the Trafford side of the bridge towards Ordsall. The pavement on this side of the swing bridge was removed in the 1990's when a modern fixed bridge was built next to it.

EWM says: I took this photograph as part of an photo series I was developing entitled 'Darkside of the North'. It's one of only my collection of photos I took of the Manchester area before I went to the Middle East in 1991.

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