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THE AREA TO THE NORTH OF PICCADILLY, dubbed 'The Northern Quarter' has had a reputation for being the 'forgotten' part of the city centre. It retains much of the character of the 'old' Manchester, with its 19th century commercial buildings and grimy warehouses. But while prestige city centre districts such as the area round King Street have benefited from investment and redevelopment, the area round Stevenson Square looks neglected and under-utilised. Let's take a closer look at the Northern Quarter and adjoining areas...

HIGH STREET, off Market St Manchester city centre is seen here viewed from the Arndale Centre car park.

Debenhams department store (formerly Pauldens and Rylands) is on the corner. Rising above it is the Sunley Tower, part of Piccadilly Plaza. On the right is the former Lewis's department store.

A Metrolink tram is making its way along High Street and is about to turn left into Market Street.

High Street marks the northernmost extent of the Northern Quarter, which is off the picture to the left.

WE ARE LOOKING DOWN INTO THE NORTHERN QUARTER from the Arndale Centre car park. In the centre of the picture is an old warehouse building which has been converted into the Manchester Buddhist Centre.

In the distance can be seen the tower of Jersey Mill in Ancoats.

THE MANCHESTER BUDDHIST CENTRE is housed in a converted industrial building on Turner Street in Manchester city centre's Northern Quarter.

Formerly a place of workshops and machinery, the building has been transformed into a vibrant but tranquil amenity in the heart of the city centre. Buddhists worship here, but you can also attend classes in meditation and yoga. In the basement is the award-winning Earth Bar, offering vegetarian meals, coffee and other beverages.

THE MANCHESTER BUDDHIST CENTRE on Turner St in the Northern Quarter is an excellent example of how a formerly run-down industrial building can be completely transformed.

Members of the Manchester Buddhist community carried out most of the work on the building, in conjunction with an architect.

As we can see in the top floor offices pictured here, many of the original features of the building, including wooden beams and skylights, have been retained.

Buddhist statues contrast with desktop PC's. Through the window, we can see the south east facade of the Arndale Tower, showing just how close we are to the commercial heart of the city.

THE BASEMENT COFFEE BAR at the Manchester Buddhist Centre is an interesting example of how an old commercial building has been converted for a new use, but maintaining something of its original character and use.

An original pipe and pressure gauge have been retained as features and are juxtaposed with a silver standing buddha illuminated with a spotlight.

The coffee bar is in the basement of the Manchester Buddhist Centre on on Turner Street, in the Northern Quarter.

THE NORTHERN QUARTER is the venue for some crazy and striking outdoor artistic creations, including this weird musical instrument which sits on top of a brick corner piece retained from a demolished building.

On the left, standing on top of the Tib St multi-storey car park is the multicolour neon beacon which is a major nighttime landmark.

On the right is the corner of Affleck's Palace.

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