Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More good news


Following the demolition of Westgate House it seems we can now finally look forward to the demolition of another Tyneside eyesore: the multi-storey car park in Gateshead town centre (as reported today on the BBC website). Gateshead town centre is in real need of development following the success of the Sage concert hall, the Baltic art gallery and the Gateshead Hilton. Woe betide any visitor to the town who decides to explore beyond these new features and wander up Gateshead High Street. Although it includes the chapel of St Edmund, built in 1247 and outside which blessed John Ingram was martyred, the overall impression is not good. Now it seems things will begin to change in the autumn. Perhaps only the fans of the film Get Carter will be unhappy.
Hitherto when asked about the state of Gateshead town centre, councillors have generally drawn attention to the Metro Centre by the A1, Europe`s largest shopping mall, but it is good to see something is going to be done for the actual town centre. Co-incidentally yesterday I bought a splendid book, Newcastle and Gateshead Architecture and Heritage which is the best guide I have seen to the outstanding buildings of the area.

1 comment:

Geoff Irving said...

I personally think that the negative view towards the Gateshead Multistory Car Park is dim and incircumspect, especially when the proposal for the replacement building is another homogenous Tescos - a potential future eyesore?

There are numerous examples of buildings now considered outstanding that attracted castigation and condemnation in the era immediately proceeding their erection; numerous ecclesiastical buidings have experienced this phenomenon, the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is one that instantly springs to mind.
Another militating factor is the cultural significance of the Car Park - helping to develop the previously deprived town centre of Gateshead; regenerating, albeit belatedly, the extensive bomb damaged centre; and the fact that building is still fit for purpose.

Why not leave the decision to demolish these buildings to future generations when a more objective and less reactionary approach can be assumed?