Birmingham town hall

5 05 2007

Birmingham Town Hall detailBirmingham Town Hall is one of Birmingham’s first real buildings. It is listed and is now an icon of Birmingham’s destroyed Victorian heritage.

Despite it’s name, it is in fact not a council meeting facility. In fact, it’s a concert venue. Well, it was and will be one again soon. The town hall has been around since the mid-1830s and was the work of none-other than the inventor of the Hansom Cab. It’s design is based upon that of a Greek temple and the sheer presence of the edifice impresses all. In the late 1900s, the building was closed following lack of maintenance and for a while it remained empty and unused. A multi-million pound restoration project commenced and through painstaking work, it was revitalised and given a new lease of life. Life it needed and Birmingham needed.

It now stands dominating the southwest of Victoria Square and the south of Chamberlain Square giving an iconic neighbour to the majestic council house. Hardcore sand blasting done in the most careful of conditions has revealed the very fabric of the building – Anglesey marble – in it’s greatest light. Before it was dirty. During it was covered in a large advertisement hoarding. After it was a spotless structure. It was even subject to the Complaints Choir as a result of the advertisements detracting from the architectural magnificence of the building.

Set to be opened formally in a two week long party in September, it is now symbolic of a history that Birmingham was all too ready to throw away in the 1960s. In many instances, it did.

And now for future generations, we can see the splendour of the building in a way that has not been achieved since 1836 following the work of another great architect who created England’s most iconic and administratively-prominent buildings – The Houses of Parliament.

It Brummies cannot be proud of this building, then they should be ashamed. If Brummies can’t even name the building, then they should not be classed as Brummies. That is a fact!

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