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February 05, 2006

Comments

Phil

Speaking of touring radical Manchester, are you coming to the blogmeet?

Jimmy Doyle

Yes, I know: in Liverpool!

Boris Johnson called. He wants his tawdry prejudices back.

CKR

I knew it was all your fault.

Alex

This raises interesting architectural questions regarding other northern civic buildings. Bradford: City Hall, neo-Gothic with a Venetian twist, but a full set of monarchs in statue around the gables. The Irish construction workers went on strike rather than install the Cromwell statue, but he got up there anyway (presumably they found a Protestant to do it).

Leeds: Interesting. Two town halls to study. Leeds Town Hall itself; huge, grey, and neo-classical, one big hunk of civic authority. Civic Hall, though, the actual seat of civic authority, is later (Edwardian), white and gold, and surprisingly Otto Wagner/Wiener Sezession. Now what the fuck does that tell us?

jamie

"Boris Johnson called." Yes, because Liverpool's famous for order, heirarchy and reverence for the past.

Phil - No can do: working on Saturday. Regards to my many fans, etc

Cheryl. yes, it WAS all my fault (strokes persian cat, laughs maniacally)

Alex - The monarchs fit in with this if you take them as a back formation from the neo-gothic - protestantism, constitutional liberty, the spirit of 1688, etc. Cromwell's interesting, though. Does he have any local significance? Manchester supported Parliament as well.

The Leeds civic hall sounds a bit like late empire architecture, when there was some attempt to rteflect Britain's global pre-eminence through a more ecletctic style - just as Britain's actual power was on the wane. The British Council in stone, as it were. The Town Hall extension in Manchester's like that, too.

Jimmy Doyle

I should have remembered that a patronising appeal to stereotypes can always be 'justified' by an even more patronising appeal to stereotypes. If you are taken aback by the extraordinary (and extraordinarily well-preserved) grandeur of civic buildings in the centre of Liverpool, it seems a little self-serving to put this down to a cosmic anomaly -- as opposed to, say, your ignorance.

dsquared

Christ, the only Scouser in the world with no sense of humour and he found your blog. Jamie, you must be pleased.

Jimmy Doyle

I am certainly not the only scouser in the world with no sense of humour. Have you not seen Lily Savage?

We do, however, all have an excellent sense of rhythm.

Alex

You could always just fuck off, you know..

Right. Re: Bradford. Parliamentarian as they came. The Lloyds Bank in the centre of town bears a plaque reminding the world that it was General Fairfax's HQ in 1644.

Kevin Gopal

From dimly recalled history lessons, the architect behind Bolton Town Hall copied the one in Leeds and then went on to design a replica in Portsmouth.

jamie

Jesus, giant flat pack versions of the Whig conception of history. These days you just giant get flat pack versions of something from IKEA.

Alex

Well, I suppose it's an interesting twist on Thomas Barnett's "Development in a Box" shtick. The Victorians were good at modular design - all those standardised cast-iron sections. I suppose you could argue that the empire ran on giant flatpack versions of the Whig interpretation, rolled out worldwide.

jamie

Niall Ferguson: the Americans can't do empire because they never got the hang of meccano...

Alex

...and with a few exceptions their railway stations suck.

dsquared

[We do, however, all have an excellent sense of rhythm]

... except Ringo Starr?

Jimmy Doyle

I say. Steady on.

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