Manchester can trace its origins way
back to Roman times, and the city has many fine buildings from all
periods of history and architecture. In many ways, Manchester's buildings
give visible evidence to its history, as well as to its regional identity,
its social, economic and cultural growth over the years.
walk through the city reveals the evident rapid growth and development
that took place during the Victorian era of the nineteenth century.
This was when Manchester grew up and came into its own.
Minshull Street Police Station, Manchester Town Hall and the Urbis
The fabulous palatial mill and
warehouse buildings, offices, libraries and other civic buildings
show immense civic pride. They show self-confidence. This was the
city that demanded to be recognised - it was the first truly industrialised
city - it was where the Industrial Revolution began.
The City of Manchester enjoyed both wealth and political power by
the end of the nineteenth century - the growth of expensive and highly
ornate banking halls in King Street demonstrates this.
But there have also been 20th century masterpieces too. The Central
Reference Library in St Peter's Street and the neighbouring Town Hall
Extensions demonstrate the determination of the city fathers to improve
the civic amenities of the city. Later, award winning buildings in
the banking zone, and recently, the erection of fine new bridges across
rivers, canals and roadways.
Comment should also be made of the City Council's imaginative thinking
on the refurbishment of old, (and often derelict) buildings. It is
heart-warming to see old beloved buildings rising Pheonix-like again
into current use, often in new and imaginative reincarnations - the
Corn Exchange became the Triangle, Watts Warehouse becomes a hotel,
Joshua Hoyle's fine warehouse converted into the Malmaison Hotel in
All these evidence a city which is in a state of constant renewal
and reinvention - a city that is alive, organic and growing.