It's increasingly true that the same shops appear in every town and city across the land. And some occur in every city throughout the world. But that's because our eyes are firmly fixed on the glittering shopfronts and displays. Let your eyes drift up a bit and you'll find some varied and interesting architecture.
The Central Cinema in Cambridge's Hobson Street closed down as long ago as 1972 but was then re-opened as a bingo hall. Now it's boarded up and nothing seems to be happening, though it still gives a bit of shelter for those waiting for the bus on rainy days. Which is all rather a shame as its white-tiled frontage is a wonderful mix of Art Deco and Egyptian styles, so redolent of the golden age of cinema and the 1930s when it was built.
Cambridge has over 1,500 Listed Buildings which, according to Historic England, can be described thus: Listing marks and celebrates a building's special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations. However the Jack Wills clothing outlet is not one of them. It just shows what a wealth of interesting buildings there is.
I've often browsed through the books in Waterstones but I can't say I'd ever looked up at the fancy wrought iron balconies before. That's not a listed building either.
The entrance to the pedestrianised Sussex Street is marked by two fine buildings, Sidney House and Montagu House, the lower floor of the latter presently occupied by Costa Coffee. This whole development was built in 1928-29 by Sidney Sussex College with the upper floors being designed as student accommodation. James Montagu was the first Master of the college, being appointed in 1596 and the Montagu coat of arms is displayed high above the Costa trade mark.
Up above STA Travel's premises is this early nineteenth century structure in classical style but built in Cambridge brick which is a nice gentle shade of yellow when clean but quickly becomes dirty grey in urban situations.
This traditional half-timbered building stands in Cambridge's Bridge Street, as it has done since the sixteenth century. It's been altered a bit over the centuries but much of the original structure remains.
I've long admired the very ornate pediments, cornices, medallions and pilasters above the Hong Kong Fusion restaurant. It was built in the mid-nineteenth century but I haven't been able to find out why it was constructed in such ornate style. It is a listed building but the listing text pays scant regard to the decorative elements.
Number 10, Trinity Street gives you a good idea of how attractive Cambridge brick can be when it's been cleaned. It dates from the nineteenth century and is in what's called Venetian Gothic style and looks more like a University building than a fashion retailer which it is today.
There are several attractive half-timbered buildings on Kings Parade, opposite Kings College. Some of them date from the sixteenth century and may have been built as the finishing touches were being applied to the magnificent Chapel. If these shops were situated elsewhere they would probably attract more interest from sightseers (and photographers).
Love what you've done with those pictures. An architect friend of mine once told me to always look up, above the dreary sameness of high streets - and sometimes I remember to do that. Take care.ReplyDelete
THis was such an interesting read...and view. Yes, the insets of the shops was great, but oh my, the architecture especially with your knowledgeable comments, I'm thrilled!ReplyDelete
Love the old buildings! Lots to see when you look up!ReplyDelete
Our HSBC Bank has closed and rumour has it that it is to reopen as a Costa.ReplyDelete
I think Cambridge probably rewards 'looking up' more than some cities, though our Northern cities have some fine Victorian buildings, of course.ReplyDelete
Ah, yes! I learned long ago from a course on historical architecture to always "look up," and that's one of the first things I do in a visit to a new city. Interesting photos. Loved the comment you made about the obviously "juiced" snowman on my blog today.ReplyDelete
I love the old buildings and their fancy embellishments. They just don't built 'em like they used to.ReplyDelete
The architecture is eye catching John. So much history there.ReplyDelete
You can see a lot looking up - or more closely. In Newark's case, there is some decent art deco stuff about, particularly the old Burton's shop hereReplyDelete
Those old buildings have some great architecture. Looking up is looking good. Enjoy your flowers, John. :)ReplyDelete
Interesting how the upper half of the buildings maintain their original architecture. Looks like you have a lot of beautiful and diverse buildings in your area!ReplyDelete
You're right, looking up instead of just at street level storefronts reveals some interesting architecture. Same in all the towns of southern Ontario. Nothing like 16th century though!ReplyDelete
Loved seeing these....I always look at architecture and all the time wishing I had time to stop and take photos. I do love that Cambridge brick, and love that building in the Venetian Gothic style. But there is so much of interest here that I won't name it all. I just always wonder how they build such wonderful buildings years ago.ReplyDelete
♥ Such an interesting post. ♥ Wishing you a beautiful and peaceful Christmastime. ♥ReplyDelete
In the US, the shops string out along every route into a town, not so much in the towns' centers any more. I detest these approaches--strip malls, as they are called, with several shops and parking in front--and fast food places that usually have a drive-thru, and what we call convenience stores--combination gas stations and small shops that sell mostly junk food. And almost all of them are chains, with names found across the country. One of the things I most enjoyed in England and Ireland was the absence of drive-thrus and cluttered, ugly approaches to towns. Completely happy with the crowded, funky, unique and usually charming downtowns!ReplyDelete
How clever to use the insets to show the modern entrances to the old buildings. I'd much rather look at old architecture than the merchandise inside. I probably would have wandered in the bookstore and coffee shop and called my shopping done!ReplyDelete
Great post. We really should look up more :)ReplyDelete
I like the way you've done this John, showing the lovely original architecture with the inserts of the modern day occupants.ReplyDelete