Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Edinburgh at 2:00 pm on 20 May 2013
I spotted this when we were at the book sale in Edinburgh on the 11th May. It has the look of deco about it. From this angle the stepped back roof isn’t too apparent.
It abuts the very deco Capital Building on the corner of St Andrew’s Square.
There’s another very geometric building on its other side.
A bit too much glass to be true deco but there are lots of strong horizontals and verticals.
Here are the two from an angle which also shows the Capital Building on the extreme left and the roof stepping.
Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Edinburgh at 10:00 am on 18 May 2013
A difficult one to photograph this as Rose Street is so narrow. I took this photo a couple of years ago. I thought I had posted it here but, on checking, it seems I hadn’t.
So. Here it is now.
This is the doorway. Definite deco features. Photo taken last Saturday.
Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938 at 10:00 am on 9 May 2013
Various memorabilia were made for the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938; a lot of them containing representations of the Tower of Empire.
The Exhibition’s logo though was, like that of the Wembley Empire Exhibition of 1924 and 1925, a lion. The Wembley lion was what is heraldically known as statant. Since in 1938 the Exhibition was being held in Scotland the 1938 lion was of course rampant.
Colour images of the 1938 Exhibition are rare but this was what the Empire Exhibition’s entrance gates looked like – complete with lion logo. (Photos below taken from Flickr – though I’d seen them on display at the last Glasgow Worldcon in 2005. A set of coloured photographs of the Exhibition had come to light a year or so previously after having been in a drawer or something for 60+ years.) As always the Tower of Empire is conspicuous in the background.
And here’s a night time view of the entrance taken from much the same angle.
One of the features of the Exhibition was the coloured lights not only on the buildings but also in the fountains and on the Tower.
Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938, Glasgow at 9:01 am on 3 May 2013
The zenith of Art Deco (or of Moderne if you must) in Scotland came in 1938 with the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, held in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, and which opened 75 years ago today on 3/5/1938.
Its signature building was the Tower of Empire (seen in the above photograph taken from the link) designed by Thomas Tait whose houses at Silver End I featured eighteen months ago. The tower was erected on the hill in Bellahouston Park and dominated the Exhibition.
Tait was in overall charge of the architecture for the Exhibition – some of whose buildings made extensive use of the new construction material, asbestos cement! – and designed many of the buildings himself.
My favourite is the Atlantic Restaurant, a ship-shaped building cresting the wave of the hill on which it was set, two postcards of which I reproduce below.
Sadly almost none of the buildings remain. (It was a condition of such events that their locations were restored to their original condition soon afterwards. Moreover shortly afterwards the country was involved in the Second World War and conserving architecture became a minor consideration. The Exhibition itself came to an end in the midst of the Munich Crisis.)
Only the Palace of Arts is still standing in Bellahouston Park itself. It was transformed into a sports pavilion. The Palace of Engineering was taken down and re-erected at Prestwick Airport and can still be found there. The South Africa building was in Dutch Barn style rather than deco or moderne and later became a staff canteen at ICI Ardeer. All the rest were demolished.
Think of what a tourist attraction Tait’s Tower, as it was known, could have been! Glasgow’s answer to Eiffel.
As it is, the main tourist draw in the Park today is the House for an Art Lover built to designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh whose buildings are a sort of bridge between the freer, flowing style of Art Nouveau and the more rigid Art Deco.
You may have noticed that I have added a new category to my list especially for this Exhibition. There is so much more I could, and will, post.
Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Scotland at 12:00 pm on 29 April 2013
The inn is situated on the A 701 about 18 miles from Moffat going north and apparently has a claim to be the oldest inn in Scotland, though others do too.
A campaign by the local community to save it from conversion to accomodation as a gathering place for events has recently reached its funding target.
So. How can an inn which claims to be the oldest in Scotland and has a connection with Robert Burns be in a list of Art Deco buildings?
Well check out the extension.
Rounded entrance with glazing to match, the overhanging canopy, the banding on the balcony above. All deco.
I hope they keep that frontage.
Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Trips at 9:00 pm on 23 April 2013
Whitehaven appeared a bit more prosperous than Maryport or Workington, less industrial certainly, and with a lot of sailing yachts in the harbour.
But more Art Deco, not just the Bus Station.
Only separated from the old Bus Station by one building is this pub, the Bransty Arch, now a Wetherspoons.
Here’s the frontage in more detail. Good stuff on the roofline and the Arch motif.
Here’s the side view looking back towards the old Bus Station.
Further into the town I found a Burton’s.
This is typical of 30s Burton’s style. Pity about the wires and other guff in the way in this other view in which I also seem inadvertently to have photographed a gull on the roof!
We found a large second-hand book shop in the town, very nook and cranny-like. Sadly none of the books grabbed my interest sufficiently to buy any. Ones I might have bought I already had! The good lady managed one purchase, though, and also browsed one she had been thinking of buying from the internet but decided she wouldn’t like it.
Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Trips at 9:00 pm on 22 April 2013
After Harrington and the surprise of Heathfield another surprise awaited us further down the coast in Whitehaven; a fantastic Art Deco Bus Station, sadly no longer in use. To show the full extent this is a stitch of two photos.
As you can see I took the above from Tesco’s car park!
Here’s a closer view of the entrance to the ex-Bus Station.
The photo below shows the curve of the entrance.
The entrance is not only fenced off in the lower part but netted above.
This is the first of the two photos I stitched:-
And this is the second:-
In do hope someone can find a use for this brilliant building – or at least put something behind the facade.
Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Trips at 8:30 pm on 21 April 2013
On the way south out of Workington we passed through Harrington (a suburb?) and the good lady spotted the house pictured below. Luckily there was an easy place to park for me to nip out and photograph it.
Heathfield has all the Art Deco hallmarks; flat roof, rounded wall edges, white rendering. Note the long window and the stepped frontage. All the eyes are poked out, though.
The above is the first view I took. The least interesting.
This last photo shows the rounded canopy over the entrance door.
Apart from the modernised glazing this house seems to have been maintained very much in keeping with its origins. It’s still imposing.
Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Trips at 10:04 pm on 19 April 2013
From Maryport we headed down the coast to Workington. The approach to the town is through an industrial landscape but we did pass Borough Park, the tidy, if old-fashioned, home ground of Workington AFC. Once a proud Football League side, they now ply their trade in the Conference (Blue Square Bet) North. In their league days weren’t they known as Workington Town? There’s no mention of that on Wiki nor their home page.
We passed the building below on our way to finding a parking spot. It’s the County Library. I made sure to photo it on our walkabout. A fine building – even if its eyes have been poked out.
Also impressive was the Bus Station. Not Deco but looks like a former cinema from a distance. This seemed to be the exit. The entrance looked very similar but was at an angle to this one.
Just over the road from it (you can see a bus exiting the Bus Station on the left of the photo – and a preceding one on the right) was this.
Not far down the same street was this row of Deco shops. I didn’t bother strolling down to get a closer shot of the white ones. We were a bit pushed for time.
Like Maryport Workington was a bit own at heel especially away from the immediate environs of the main shopping area.
I liked this building though, now converted to a Wetherspoon’s.
Henry Bessemer, if you were wondering, invented a process to produce steel from iron.
This was just over the side street from the Henry Bessemer.
Not a bad haul of Art Deco from one of the towns in England most out on a limb. Sadly, without exception, the buildings had all been reglazed unsympathetically. (Eyes poked out.)
Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Trips, Woolworths at 10:14 pm on 18 April 2013
Maryport is a lovely name for a town and it’s where the River Ellen debouches into the Irish Sea.
There’s always something aesthetically pleasing about a place where waters meet. The river in Maryport is nice enough as it curves under a bridge and into the sea but it isn’t exceptional. It helped too that the tide was in and there was as a result no unsightly muddy banks when I saw it.
The town itself has seen better times I would say and looked pretty down at heel even if the Christmas Lights were still suspended over Senhouse Street.
It did have some Art Deco, though. I spotted this on Crosby Street on the way back up from the river. The metal surrounds of the glass on the upper parts of the shop windows here are particularly striking. The higher up windows have been “poked out” though.
On Senshouse Street itself is what used to be a Woolworths and is now an Original Factory Shop. Nice roofline but again poked out eyes for the upper windows.