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

THE BRICK RAILWAY VIADUCT NEXT TO WHITWORTH ST carries the railway line from Piccadilly Station and Oxford Road to Deansgate and beyond. The green-painted cast iron braces date from the mid-19th century, when the viaduct was built. The line was first electrified in the 1930's. A red-painted Virgin Trains locomotive is just passing overhead and is about to pass through Deansgate station. Through the arch we can see the south west end of GMEX, former Central Station. On the right is the curved facade of the Roundhouse, part of the complex of buildings which housed the Hacienda. The year is 1998.

EWM says: The curves of the arch, GMEX and Hacienda echo each other beautifully. Few peoplecould imagine in 1998 that in four years the Hacienda facade would have disappeared.

THE EAST FACADE OF THE TOWN HALL is seen here on a spring morning in 1998 against a deep blue sky, with the sun shining from the east. The Town Hall was completed in the 1870's and is one of Manchester's most-photographed buildings, though its east facade and tower are often overlooked.

EWM says: In the 1945 plan for the redevelopment of Manchester, the planners speculated that the Town Hall might be demolished to make way for a larger more modern building. Thank goodness the 1945 plan for Manchester never got off the ground.

THE TOWN HALL AND 1950'S MANCHESTER CORPORATION BUS, parked on Albert Square. Once, buses and trams waited on this part of Albert Square, which was pedestrianised in the 1980's. The bus is part of a collection on display the Museum of Transport, Boyle Street, Cheetham Hill.

EWM says: Manchester Corporation buses with their pleasing red and cream livery were one of the most striking symbols of civic identity up till the 1970's, when all buses in Greater Manchester were painted in an ugly orange and white colour scheme. This photo was used on the cover of a medical conference brochure.

THE URBIS CENTRE ROOF is seen here from the north side. The building is one of Manchester's most striking pieces of contemporary architecture and was designed by Ian Simpson Architects. This is how the Urbis Centre looked in January 2002, five months before its official opening.

EWM says: Many people have compared the Urbis Centre roof to a ski slope - I think it looks like a launch ramp for UFO's. Whatever it reminds you of, it's a sign that the building is interesting and imaginitive when it reminds you of other things. This image was used in print by the company that designed and built the Urbis Centre roof.

TRAFFORD PARK, SALFORD QUAYS THE LOWRY GALLERIA are seen here on a sunny morning in March 2002. On the left is the office building Key West, on Trafford Wharf and next to it, the Imperial War Museum North. We are looking at the widest stretch of water in the former Docks, where ships used to turn round. The swan in the foreground is proof of the improved water quality.

EWM says: The War Museum, Lowry Centre and Galleria together form one of Greater Manchester's most impressive tourist and shopping attractions. It's a shame that the Lowry Galleria and apartment building have hidden the outline of the Lowry arts centre (see photo below)

TRAFFORD PARK, SALFORD QUAYS AND THE LOWRY are seen at sunset in May 2000. On the left is the office building Quay West. The Lowry is on the right, and linking them is the remarkable new footbridge, which lifts to allow ships to pass underneath. The setting sun is framed in the arc of the bridge. This panoramic image provides a view of the Lowry which was soon to be obscured.

EWM says: This view has will soon change with the addition of the Imperial War Museum on the left, and the Lowry Galleria and apartment building on the right.

THE LOWRY HOTEL is a five-star hotel built on former industrial land on the Salford side of the River Irwell, just a short walk from Manchester city centre across the Calatrava or Trinity footbridge. The new hotel has a curved facade overlooking the river, and a minimalist interior. This is how it looked in 2001.

EWM says: The name of the most famous local artist has been used for this hotel as well as the arts centre three miles away in Salford Quays, causing some confusion. I wonder what the brilliant and eccentric painter of Salford and Manchester would say if he could see how his name is being used commercially today.

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