The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Midland Hotel Morecambe update

I regret to have to report that The Post and Mail building by the John Madin Design Partnership has again been turned down for listing and is now likely to be demolished. This building, a tower on a podium inspired by the Lever building in New York, is considered to be John Madin’s best work. It is a building that could easily be adapted for alternative uses and its likely loss is to be deplored.

We have not yet heard if the application for spot-listing of the Central Library has been successful, but plans for its demolition and resiting near Millenium Point are going ahead; the Richard Rogers practice has been asked to design the new library. However, there appears to be a substantial amount of local opposition to the re-location of the library and it is to be hoped that the Council will listen.

The re-development of the Bull Ring is now well advanced: the new buildings are massive and dwarf the listed St. Martin’s church. Part of the podium of the Rotunda, recently listed Grade 2, has been hacked away and the building is now partly obscured by tensile supports looking like giant metal bedheads! There is an application for cladding the building and adding an extra two storeys, which, it is hoped, will be refused. Its conversion to residential units, however, seems an acceptable use for the building.

You may recall that the proposed use of Baskerville House, architect Cecil Howitt and listed Grade 2, was as a luxury hotel, involving drastic and unsuitable changes to its fine Renaissance-inspired interior. The developers have now pulled out and negotiations for conversion to offices are under way. It is hoped that these will respect the fine qualities of the building’s interior.

There appears to be no good news.

Related links: 05/2002 News from Birmingham – Eva Ling

Emmanuelle Morgan