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Friday, 18 November 2011

The Past in the Present: Should the Athletic Stores be saved?

In this series, The Past in the Present, we explore how the historic urban character of a city can be part of a dynamic and continually evolving contemporary society, with an aim to spark debate on the topic of conservation and heritage in our cities and further afield.

Series Curated by Ailish Killilea & Anna Skoura

A need to harness "the positive long-term economic benefits of using quintessentially Belfast buildings for 21st century uses" was highlighted yesterday in a letter to the Planning Committee by The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society and Forum for Alternative Belfast. The two campaign groups were lobbying the Committee not to approve demolition of the Athletic Stores/Swanston's Linen Warehouse on Queen St in Belfast. View the illustrated letter below.

UAHS/FAB letter. Click to enlarge.

UAHS/FAB letter. Click to enlarge.

The latest news today, according to the UAHS, is that the building was recommended for demolition at last night's meeting.

Update 18th November: The UAHS has today written an open letter to the Minister for the Environment asking for his intervention in the case. See the letter below.

Letter from the UAHS to Minister for the Environment Alex Attwood. Click to enlarge.

Update 21st November: Belfast City Council approves demolition of Athletic Stores building in Belfast
 - BBC News website

What do you think? Should the Athletic Stores be saved?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so disappointed with the decision to allow this wonderful Victorian building to be knocked to the ground. Another bad planning decision, how can this be justified when there have been so many horrific building replacements in our city. Why not knock those down and try again, not the Victorian ones. A council for the people? Many spoke out against this, a high court ruling only last year should have prevented this from happening. Belfast's red coloured city centre streets are unique and this makes us stand out from the rest. The replacements certainly won't. Regeneration doesn't have to mean demolishing. So much more could have been done to retain the facade at least. I'm so very annoyed at this and am slowly loosing faith in my Council.