NZ2564 : 55 Degrees North

taken 8 years ago, near to Gateshead, Great Britain

55 Degrees North
55 Degrees North
This block was built, as Swan House, on a large roundabout NZ2564 : To The Motorway & Manors Car Park above the Central Motorway which here runs in a tunnel under the left side, heading for the Tyne Bridge. The visible roads are slip roads which lead to the roundabout.
The block is on the site of John Dobson's magnificent, Royal Arcade, built in 1831-32 by Richard Grainger. Location has always been a problem here, and Dobson's shopping arcade proved unsuccessful having the rough Manor Chare at its rear. It was finally demolished in 1963 for the construction of the Central Motorway and Swan House. Metro Radio occupies part of the building at a lower level on the south-east corner (visible to the left).
Swan House was vacated in the 1990s and it was never clear if people would be happy living on a roundabout. At least the building can now be approached from a road-level crossing from Pilgrim Street and Mosley Street to the west which may have more appeal than the pedestrian underpasses and walkways.
A reconstructed Royal Arcade now forms part of Bar 55 on the ground floor of the newly refurbished Swan House which was re-branded as '55 Degrees North' and is now mainly residential.
LinkExternal link
Two level toon
A 1960s vision for Newcastle City Centre to separate traffic from pedestrians by creating a network of concrete walkways above access roads and traffic routes of the existing streets.
Geography reverses the situation somewhat at the Swan House roundabout which merges traffic coming off the Tyne Bridge with that from the Central Motorway and the City Centre. Here pedestrians are moved below the roads in subways but emerge again above the deep valley of Side under the Tyne Bridge.
The vision would have included Northumberland Street (where some new stores were built with shop windows at what is now first floor level), and further, but eventually money ran out and it was realised that too much of architectural merit would have to be sacrificed.
The development of the city in the 1960s and 1970s was marred by a corruption scandal involving a local politician, T. Dan Smith (aka 'The Mouth of the Tyne), and John Poulson, a property developer. Echoes of the scandal were revisited in the late 1990s in the BBC TV mini-series, 'Our Friends in the North' LinkExternal link
The 'streets in the sky' concept is explained in the Urban Translation Tour LinkExternal link
Plans of this and other Newcastle developments are discussed here LinkExternal link
Grainger Town :: NZ2464
Present-day Newcastle owes much of its architecture to the partnership of Richard Grainger LinkExternal link and John Dobson LinkExternal link
Grainger was a builder who built many important buildings in Newcastle. Dobson was an architect, with whom Grainger worked on many projects. Between 1824 and 1826, Grainger built most of Eldon Square and Blackett Street. In 1829, Dobson and Grainger built Leazes Terrace and Leazes Crescent, and in 1832, they completed the Royal Arcade at the foot of Pilgrim Street.
In 1839, the two men completed their most ambitious project covering 12 acres (49,000 m2) in central Newcastle, on the site of Newe House (also called Anderson Place). They built three new thoroughfares, Grey Street, Grainger Street and Clayton Street, with many connecting streets, as well as the Central Exchange and the Grainger Market.
Dobson was the one who provided the creative drive behind the project and Grey Street is considered to be his finest creation with its elegant curve. Unfortunately most of old Eldon Square was demolished in the 1960s in the name of progress. The Royal Arcade met a similar fate.
The name, Grainger Town, was first applied to this part of the City Centre in 1991 by the City Council and the Grainger Town Partnership was set up to co-ordinate its regeneration and revitalisation.
LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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Grid Square
NZ2564, 797 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Friday, 15 January, 2010   (more nearby)
Submitted
Friday, 22 January, 2010
Category
Apartment block   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 2513 6420 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:58.3073N 1:36.5381W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 2519 6424
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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