UPDATE PART TWO - Despite the development boom, one or two
corners of the city centre will stay the same... (Photos taken
on a Ricoh digital camera)
This is St John's
Street, Manchester's only complete street of Georgian houses.
In the 18th century these were family homes, but nowadays,
most of these listed buildings house the offices of solicitors.
of the street is spoilt by the no entry signs and double yellow
lines, but apart from that it looks much as it did when it
was first built, and will stay that way.
At the far end
of the street is Deansgate and overlooking it, the monumental
west facade of the Great Northern Railway's Goods Warehouse,
in 2000 being converted into an cinema and entertainment complex.
By the side of
St John's Gardens is this passageway, one of the few remaining
places in Manchester where you'll find original flagstones.
We are looking
towards Granada Television, the 1958 office building is visible,
with a satellite dish on the roof.
In front of it
is the former municipal school, built 1912, now used by Granada
In the middle of
St John's Gardens is a memorial to the church which once stood
here, and to the people buried in the churchyard.
states: "St John's Church, which was taken down in 1931,
was built on this site by Edward Byrom in 1769. Around lie
the remains of more than 22000 people."
This is a quiet
and pleasant corner of the city centre, and can't be built
on as this is consecrated ground.
This unusual edifice
on the corner of Deansgate and Great Bridgewater Street is
all that's left of the old Great Northern Goods Warehouse
railway viaduct. The bridges to the left and the right were
removed after the warehouse was closed in the 1970's. Prestige
auto dealer Bauer Millett currently occupies the arches.
Maybe this amputated
structure ought to remain as a monument to transport, but
this is not to be. A new Hilton hotel is to be constructed
here, one of a large number of new hotels being opened in
time for the Commonwealth Games.
We are standing
on the corner of Liverpool Road - the old railway arches are
visible on the right, and in the centre we can see construction
work in progress, obscuring the view towards GMEX, the former
finished, this will be the southern entrance of the Great
Northern Experience, a cinema and entertainment complex due
to open in late 2000.
Compare this view
taken in 1999 (right), and again in 2001.
Many of Manchester's
railway arches have been converted for use as workshops, restaurants,
and even a theatre - The Green Room on Whitworth St.
Westport have overcome the problem of access to the street
by building boardwalk-style balconies and footbridges above
Night clubs, cafes
and shops will occupy the arches, which support part of the
GMEX complex, formerly Central Station.
In the distance
we can see the tower of the Palace Hotel, former Refuge Building,
and on the right is the former Hacienda building, adorned
with banners left by anarchist protesters.
The Deansgate Locks
development opens at the end of May 2000.
This is Chester
Road, leading south west out of Manchester city centre along
by the historic district of Castlefield.
On the former canal
basin at Knott Mill, developers Crosby Homes are constructing
a very large block of prestige apartments. It has already
started to dominate the east side of Chester Road and Castlefield,
to the left.
have provided a computer-generated image of how the buildling
will look when complete.
but is it too big for its surroundings?
IS CHANGING, and not always for the better. Much of the
historic character of the city is being swept aside by
development, which nevertheless brings new jobs and opportunities
into a city with many economic problems. Let's hope the
boom is sustainable, and that Manchester can develop into
a better city whilst maintaining its unique heritage.
just a small selection of construction projects in progress
during Spring 2000. More buildings under construction
in other parts of the city centre will be featured here