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

THE SHAMBLES IN ITS FORMER LOCATION was surrounded on all sides by a concrete courtyard created as part of the 1960's Shambles West development. The city centre's only surviving medieval half-timbered buildings were raised in order to incorporate them into their new setting. This is how they looked in 1999. They have recently been renovated, but are are soon to be dismantled and re-erected on a new site.

EWM says: A part of me thinks they should have been left where they were and a new development should have been built around them, restoring the pre-1960 layout. Another part of me thinks that the moving them out of this location was the best solution under the circumstances.

THE SHAMBLES IN ITS NEW LOCATION next to the Corn Exchange has become a popular place to meet in the new city centre. Formerly side by side, the two pubs are now in an L-shape, and have been faithfully rebuilt. This is how they looked on the 3rd of August 2002.

EWM says: You may feel that moving an old building to a new site is historically dubious, but few can deny that the new arrangement works really well and is a vast improvement on the previous one.

HULME ARCH has become a symbol of the regeneration of Hulme. It is a suspension bridge, carrying Stretford Road across Princess Road. Under the failed redevelopment of Hulme in the 1960's, Stretford Road was blocked off, and the four infamous crescents placed to the north and south of where it used to run. This is how Hulme Arch looked shortly after dusk in 1997.

EWM says: At the opening of the bridge in June 1997, a group of protesters put up a banner at the top of a nearby block of flats with the words 'Stuff your bridge we never asked for it.' These sentiments are characteristic of the alternative fringe who moved into the Crescents in their latter years and who didn't want them to be demolished.

NORTHCLIFFE HOUSE is one of Manchester's most striking and inspiring buildings. Its art deco tower resembles a rocket and is typical of Manchester's American-influenced architecture of the 1930's. It was opened in 1931 and for many years served as the northern headquarters of the Daily Mail. It lay unused and mostly overlooked until it was demolished in April 2002 to make way for the new Spinningfields cevelopment.

EWM says: Northcliffe House is a symbol of Manchester's past greatness as a centre for newspaper production. Deansgate is much the poorer without this amazing tower which should have been retained. I will be keeping the memory of Northcliffe House alive through the photographs on this website, and in a series of experimental stereo images using montage.

THE HACIENDA WHITWORTH STREET, apart from its fame as the former home of the Manchester's most famous nightclub, is a very beautiful building in its own right. Its salmon-coloured brickwork, curved facade and rooftop balustrade make this one of the most pleasing facades in the city. The club finally closed its doors in 1997. This is how the building looked the following year. In early 2002 it was unexpectedly demolished by developers Crosby Homes, with the permission of Manchester City Council.

EWM says: Speaking to people, I would estimate that a majority are angry that the facade was demolished, especially among those who went to the Hacienda. Manchester City Council's decision is unrepresentative of the views of the people of Manchester

In 2050, when the building currently under construction may well have deteriorated and itself be ready for demolition, people will look at my photograph on the left and wish that today's councillors had voted to retain the original facade for posterity.

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