|Subject: Hugging a building|
Posted Jul 15, 2007 by Ormondroyd
In the centre of Bradford there is a lovely old 1930s Art Deco building. It's a former cinema that I visited many times in my youth, but which has been closed for seven years; but it is still known locally as the Odeon. Featuring two turrets topped with domes, it is one of the few really distinctive and historic buildings left in Bradford city centre. Sadly, the local authorities don't see it that way. They want to demolish it to make way for offices and apartments, despite the fact that there are already plenty of empty offices and dwellings in the city.
Plenty of local people are upset about that. And one of them came up with a novel idea: to show how many people cared about the Odeon, we'd all get together at the same time and hug the building.
The righteousness of the cause and the eccentricity of the protest obviously had a wide appeal, because the turnout far exceeded the organisers' expectations. Yesterday lunchtime, I, some friends and several hundred others converged on the Odeon, listened to some short speeches, and then spread ourselves out around the building and the car park behind it. We linked hands and formed a human chain right around the block, then sent a joyous Mexican wave around the building as photographers snapped away, TV crews filmed, and lots of passing motorists tooted their car horns in support. We got generous coverage on the early-evening regional BBC TV news, and the story has made it online: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/6899061.stm . I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's local newspapers - so many photos were taken by the Bradford Telegraph & Argus's snapper that I must have a good chance of seeing myself in there!
But more importantly, I think that such a well-attended and good-humoured demonstration can only reflect well on the cause. With so much popular support, it's going to be hard for those in power to ignore the campaign. Here's hoping!
I hope they don't knock it down, but instead find a useful use for it that can benifit those livign locally and preserve it; Too many times I've seen loverly old buildings being knocked down in the name of progress to be replaced by all too predictiable boring modern buildings... Useually when some large coorperation comes along and says they want to build on the site, and suddenly any kind of protection a building might have suddenly doesn't seem to count for squit There used to be an empty, but still in very good condition nunnery (convent or whatever its called), near where I used to live, in fantastic (albeit overgrown landscaped grounds), it wasn't that* old a building, probably less than 100 years, but was so To look at, whoever had built it went out of their way to build something relaly differnt and impressive for what effectively was the size of a largeish four or so bedroom house. So a large supermarekt chain came along. Demolished it, and built a petrol station and restaurant.
|Subject: Hugging a building|
Posted Jul 15, 2007 by JulesK
This is a reply to this Posting.
It looks superb.
Sometimes you do wonder what people are thinking - you could never recreate exactly that in the future, which is what ends up happening after a while and the nostalgia beckons.
Good luck with the campaign!
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