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Construction & regeneration
15 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Birmingham New Street Station and the Pallasades to Grand Central

A look at the transformation of Birmingham New Street Station from 2010 to 2015 / 16. The Pallasades was eventually replaced by Grand Central which opened in September 2015. The concrete station and shopping centre built in the mid to late 1960s replaced by the current station and shopping mall.

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Birmingham New Street Station and the Pallasades to Grand Central





A look at the transformation of Birmingham New Street Station from 2010 to 2015 / 16. The Pallasades was eventually replaced by Grand Central which opened in September 2015. The concrete station and shopping centre built in the mid to late 1960s replaced by the current station and shopping mall.


I started taking photos of Birmingham New Street Station in 2010. And started regularly travelling from it to take photos around the network from about 2012. If you want to check out all my photos to date (other than on here) then follow my link on Flickr (over 1800 photos to date) Birmingham New Street Station.

The following information taken from Wikipedia (link at the top).

The station was originally built by the London and North Western Railway between 1846 and 1854, replacing the earlier terminus at Curzon Street which opened in 1838. LNWR shared the station with the Midland Railway until 1885, when Midland built their own extension alongside the original station. The two companies separated by a road called Queens Drive.

On Stephenson Street was built the Queens Hotel, this survived until the 1960s redevelopment.

Various lines go into New Street Station including the Stour Valley line, the Birmingham West Suburban Railway (that later formed part of the Cross City from 1978), and other lines.

In 1923 the LNWR and Midland Railway with others was grouped into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. In 1948 the railways were nationalised under British Railways. During World War II the roof suffered extensive bomb damage as a result of the air raids during the Birmingham Blitz.

After the war repairs were made but the original station was in use until the 1960s.

The station was completely rebuilt in the 1960s as part of the West Coast Main Line modernisation programme. Demolition of the old station and Queen's Hotel began in 1964 and was not complete until 1966. The rebuilt New Street Station was opened in 1967. While The Pallasades was built from 1968 and 1970 and was opened at that time.

The railway was privatised in 1997 and the train operators were franchised. Eventually the station was to be owned by Network Rail.

 

One of my earliest photos of New Street Station taken in during February 2010, not far from St Martin's Queensway.

The back of the station as seen from Navigation Street in February 2010. The rear footbridge was built in 1993 after the Kings Cross fire of 1987, as New Street is classed as an underground station, and the footbridge is also like an emergency exit. Train operators seen here included London Midland, Virgin Trains and Cross Country Trains. The Pallasades was still above and demolition work yet to begin.

It's now January 2011 and the redevelopment of New Street Station was well under way. It would take 5 years. Here was the void over platforms 12a, 11a, 10a, 9a and 8a. Come here now, and you would find a public square opposite the Bullring from St Martin's Queensway, but not 8 years ago! Just a big hole above the tracks.

Seen here in September 2012 when the Moor Street Link Bridge was under construction, below the Odeon cinema. Now a useful link from New Street to Moor Street Station. The Rotunda to the right. I now take many of the my photos from up there (mostly of Virgin Trains).

By April 2013, it was almost time for the old concourse at New Street Station to close for the last time. Saw it here on the 13th April 2013. Half of the new concourse was to open by 28th April 2013. It was called "Half Time Switchover".

By August 2013 I had my first look at the new concourse. No ticket barriers yet but this is on the B side bridge over platforms 1 to 12.

Up the ramp to what was The Pallasades in March 2014. During the transformation into Grand Central. Heading past HSBC.

The former Woolworths store was just about visible before they gutted it to transform it into new retail units for Grand Central. I think that they had already started to change the floor tiles by this point. I never really fancied taking photos of The Pallasades when it was still there, wasn't much to look at by the end. Dark and depressing. There used to be central escalators that took you down to the old New Street Station concourse, but that closed in 2013.

Skipping ahead to September 2015, and the new New Street Station was almost ready to fully reopen. Seen here below John Lewis is the Southside media eye. At the corner of Hill Street and Station Street. They were testing out the new media eyes. Also preparing for the opening of Grand Central Birmingham. The Southside Steps are below (at one point nicknamed the Spanish Steps like the ones in Rome). This end is close to the Alexandra Theatre.

Opening day late September 2015 from the newly opened public square. The media eye facing the Bullring showing a Grand Central Birmingham advert. Around this area they would later install a war memorial, which the Queen would visit when she reopened the station with the Duke of Edinburgh. The new taxi rank on what was Queens Drive is to the left (although it took some time before I saw taxis down there).

This was in October 2015. The Midland Metro extension to New Street Station wasn't quite finished (it was a bit behind). The Stephenson Street media eye at the corner of Stephenson Street and Navigation Street welcoming you to Grand Central. Above is Ladywood House (still to be redeveloped to this day). Grand Central Tram Stop would later open down here in 2016.

First look around Grand Central in October 2015 (after it opened to the public in late September 2015). Looking this way to John Lewis. Below the new airy concourse of Birmingham New Street Station. With a Pret a Manger to the left. Joe & The Juice is just in front of John Lewis (and is part of that group).

Some of the restaurants in Grand Central including Tapas Revolution.

Tortilla - was a long queue in the early days and weeks. Since then many retail or restaurant units in Grand Central have closed down, some have been replaced. Some units have remained vacant. Might be the rent is too high?

This is the view from a car park on Swallow Street (near Hill Street) of Birmingham New Street Station on the opening day in late September 2015. With Grand Central and John Lewis.

This is the view from October 2015 of the new Birmingham New Street Station looking more or less complete from the Bullring link bridge (just beyond what was later name Link Street). This is the route between Grand Central and the Bullring. On the media eye at the time was "Full London Ahead" from Virgin Trains (who are due to lose the West Coast franchise in December 2019). The demolition of the old 103 Colmore Row was well underway at the time.

Not everything was complete in 2015. In 2016 they were building a new exit to Hill Street, from the footbridge that stretches to the old Navigation Street exit. Both are now exit only. It's called the Southern Ticket Hall. Although all you can do in there is put your ticket in the ticket barrier to exit the station. This view from Lower Severn Street during October 2016.

It was open by December 2016. This exit is close to platforms 1 and 2. This photo below taken in July 2017. When I took this I wasn't exiting the station but using the footbridge to go between different platforms when I was on the look out for Big Sleuth bears. Travelling from Birmingham International to University.

Heading over the Hill Street Footbridge during October 2017. Not all trains are on time, in fact from time to time there are delays. I was travelling to Longbridge and waiting at platform 12B, but the train I ended up getting was from platform 9B so used this footbridge to change platforms. I also call this the Navigation Street Footbridge. Not many people seem to use it when I'm there (not experienced it during the rush hour / commuting period, only off peak or weekends).

I don't often get new photos of Grand Central looking down to the New Street Station concourse. This view was taken in May 2017. The paid ticketed area is to the right, while the free area is to the left of the eateries. The escalators had Bulling & Grand Central on them (as the centres now have the same owner and were merged into one).

Some new places in Grand Central, some are still here some already gone! Mowgli seen in August 2018. Cocoa seen in August 2018 (they have moved to The Mailbox). Tuckers Newsagents & Games seen in January 2019 when Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was on Netflix (it was temporary and only there for a short period of time). Kitty Cafe seen in May 2019 (it is still there).

This mural was seen in Grand Central not far from the ramp during February 2019. It shows the likes of Selfridges, Birmingham New Street Station and Birmingham's canal network. I don't think the mural is there now.

The first Midland Metro extension to New Street Station was opened completely to Grand Central Tram Stop in 2016. By 2019, the trams are now run under the name of West Midlands Metro. And the trams are going blue. Seen here on Stephenson Place is a pair of battery-less trams. Tram 32 heading to Wolverhampton, and tram 27 heading to the (current) Grand Central terminus. The ramp was refubished during the Grand Central redevelopment of 2015, and looks much better now. The pair of trams seen in October 2019.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
11 Oct 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Bank Tower Two - September/October 2019

Here's a gallery of photos from September and October so far of the construction of Bank Birmingham Tower Two, with lots of different lighting conditions.

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two - September/October 2019





Here's a gallery of photos from September and October so far of the construction of Bank Birmingham Tower Two, with lots of different lighting conditions.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
11 Oct 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square - October 2019

Here's a few photos of the externally completed One Chamberlain Square from several angles. Don't forget that our gallery for this build has photos of the entire construction from the demolition of the old Central Library onwards, go to 'related' on the post to see the feature project and view the previous posts and the gallery.

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The Construction of One Chamberlain Square - October 2019





Here's a few photos of the externally completed One Chamberlain Square from several angles. Don't forget that our gallery for this build has photos of the entire construction from the demolition of the old Central Library onwards, go to 'related' on the post to see the feature project and view the previous posts and the gallery.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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80 passion points
Construction & regeneration
11 Oct 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square - October 2019

Here's a small gallery of recent photos of the externally completed Two Chamberlain Square. This feature project has photos covering the whole construction process, click 'related' to see the gallery and previous posts.

Related

The Construction of Two Chamberlain Square - October 2019





Here's a small gallery of recent photos of the externally completed Two Chamberlain Square. This feature project has photos covering the whole construction process, click 'related' to see the gallery and previous posts.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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80 passion points
Modern Architecture
25 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Birmingham Oratory: a guided tour on the last day of Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2019)

I've been meaning to visit the inside of the Birmingham Oratory on the Hagley Road in Edgbaston for quite some time now. And I noticed that the last 3 days had free open days there. I only had time to visit on the Sunday 22nd September 2019. Got there after 2pm for the 2:15pm guided tour. It lasted about an hour. Most of it was built in the first half of the 20th century.

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Birmingham Oratory: a guided tour on the last day of Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2019)





I've been meaning to visit the inside of the Birmingham Oratory on the Hagley Road in Edgbaston for quite some time now. And I noticed that the last 3 days had free open days there. I only had time to visit on the Sunday 22nd September 2019. Got there after 2pm for the 2:15pm guided tour. It lasted about an hour. Most of it was built in the first half of the 20th century.


In the middle of October 2019, Blessed John Henry Newman is to be created a Saint by Pope Francis I at the Vatican in Rome. His predecessor Pope Benedict XVI visited Birmingham in September 2010, beautifying Cardinal Newman at Cofton Park, and later visiting the Birmingham Oratory, unveiling a new blue plaque in Newman's honour.

During Birmingham Heritage Week, there was Heritage Open Days, free to visit at the Oratory during the last three days, in the afternoon. You could go on free guided tours of the Oratory Church.

Small bit of history first. The Oratory of St Philip Neri was established in 1849 by Cardinal Newman. At first based at the Church of St Anne on Alcester Street, they later found a more suitable site on the Hagley Road, the community relocated there in 1852. The current church began between 1907 and 1910 in the Baroque style to replace the original structure as a memorial to Newman. It was designed by Edward Doran Webb.

It is a Grade II* listed building, being listed as The Church of the Immaculate Conception (The Oratory), the Oratory Priests' House and the Former Oratory School Buildings.

Additions by G B Cox in 1927, including earlier work by John Hungerford Pollen of 1858, Henry Clutton of 1872-3. Also including the presbytery building by Terence Flanagan in 1851, plus the former Oratory School buildings designed by Henry Clutton in 1861-2 and 1872-3.

My full album on my Flickr including my earlier exterior photos is here Birmingham Oratory.

 

First up photos I took of the Oratory before and after the guided tour.

Exterior from the Private Oratory Car Park

The red brick building leads to the Cloisters and the main entrance. Used to be a school in this building known as the Oratory School. It was built betwen the 1860s and 1870s, designed by Henry Clutton.

This building is the main church part of the Oratory. Now also known as the Cardinal Newman Memorial Church. This was mostly built from 1903 to 1909, designed by E Doran Webb.

This small corner turreted building is the Shrine of St Philip Neri. During the guided tour, it was quite cramped being inside of it. It was built in 1927 and designed by G B Cox at the north west corner of the church.

Looking at the brickwork outside, it doesn't quite match with the earlier church. Behind the Shrine you can see red brick filling in the two walls of the church.

A close up look at the Shrine of St Philip Neri from the outside. It has a copper dome on top.

Cloisters

I saw the cloisters before going on the guided tour. Slightly reminds me of cloisters I've seen in France or Spain (although those are centuries older).

After heading in the main entrance from Hagley Road, a first proper look at the Cloisters. There is a shop to the left (also tea room I think). The main church is to the right. The cloisters was formerly the Oratory School. Newman founed it in 1852. It later moved to Reading in 1922. St Philip's Grammar School was later here from 1887 until it closed in 1995.

Facing the main church. Now known as the Cardinal Newman Memorial Church. Built from 1907 to 1910.

On this side of the cloisters was loads of memorial stones, including one for Cardinal Newman. It was around here, that those who went on the first guided tour of the afternoon waited.

This way towards the car park. We didn't have access to these buildings (I mean going up to the first floor), as it wasn't part of the tour.

I think that's a fountain in the middle, but it wasn't flowing water. This side towards the shop / tea room (I didn't go in). Heading back to the left to wait for the start of the guided tour.

Cardinal Newman Memorial Church

The guided tour started in here. I went on the 2:15pm tour, an it lasted around an hour, as the guide explained from her notepad facts about the church and it's history. She would take us all the way around, including into the Shrine of St Philip Neri.

The marble columns came from Italy, and they were shipped by a steamer ship 2 at a time. Then they headed up the canal network once in the UK, being unloaded at Monument Road. The same steamer headed back to Italy to collect more columns, again 2 at a time.

The Organ Gallery is above the main entrance door to the church. Towards the south end.

The main dome near the front of the church. Is close to the High Altar. It's close to the second organ in the church and the Our Lady’s altar. You expect something like this in Italy, not here in Birmingham!

At the front is the High Altar. At the top is painting with a rainbow above it. It was designed in 1899 by Dunstan Powell and was for the old church. There is a raised step just before this area.

The Our Lady’s altar seen to the left. It is second hand. It came from the Church of S Andrea della Valle in Rome in 1911. The pair of columns were originally meant for Westminster Cathedral in London, but they broke, so instead they came to the Birmingham Oratory instead!

Shrines to St Philip Neri and Cardinal Newman

Side rooms in the Oratory. One dedicated to the founder of the Oratory movement, St Philip Neri. The other to Cardinal Newman, who was made Blessed in 2010, and soon to be a Saint.

Was a tight squeeze getting members of the tour group into the Shrine of St Philip Neri. A look up to the dome. The portrait of Philip Neri is a replica. The shrine was designed by G B Cox and built in 1927, added to the north west corner (see exteriors further up this post).

The body is a wax facsimile, but resembles St Philip Neri. There might be some relics inside. Took this as the group started to come out of the Shrine, as wasn't possible while it was crowded in there. He was born in Florence in 1515 and died in Rome in 1579. Philip Neri was beatified by Paul V in 1615 and canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.

I think (although not sure) that this (below) might be the St Anne's Altar. Just quick look, I didn't go inside of this one. I thought the guide would take us in here. The nearby Shrine to Blessed Newman was closed for refurbishment ahead of his Sainthood being declared in October 2019. A temporary shine (it says on the door of Newman's Shrine) could be found at St Anne's Altar.

This used to be the St Philip’s Chapel, but is now the Shrine of Blessed John Henry Newman. It was closed for refurbishment, so took these photos through the windows in the doors.

Newman is due to be created a Saint after being Blessed since September 2010. It was probably part of the original church. It was last restored 9 years ago after Newman was beautified by Pope Benedict XVI. The canonisation is due to take place on the 13th October 2019 by Pope Francis I at the Vatican in Rome. The Prince of Wales will be travelling there, representing the Queen (as she no longer travels abroad).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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