Time for it to go? I was struck looking at the Cardiff Story website by the image from the 20th century of the library with the famous statue in front. It looked rather grand. Of course you have Hayes Island in the picture now. It's got a cerrtain sentimental attraction but it's hardly great is it? What about the public toilets aswell. To be honest I'm amazed they are still there.
It's a listed structure I believe. Besides which I like it. Also you won't have grand views of the library from the Hayes because the London planes have grown considerably since the library was built and block the view in summer and in winter. Again I like them and wouldn't want to see them cut down.
Leave Hayes well alone, oft I have sat there with a coffee and a book. Marvellous place.
I couldn't get over how much I'd missed the Hayes after my first trip home from the UAE and I feel like that each time I go home now.
The view down to the revamped street, new library etc from Hayes Island snack bar is great and the view the opposite way to the Old Library and the snack bar is also bloody brilliant. It's an awesome part of the city at the moment and nothing at all needs to change about it in my opinion, except that stupid screen. Take it down please.
I loves the snack bar I do
Tis an even lesser known fact that Gerry Rafferty visited said Hayes Island Snack bar and twas inspired.
The incredible Ian Dury was said to have dined there before writing 'hit me with your rhythm stick' and Mark E Smith Champions the Hayes Island.
Leave it well alone.
The toilets down below are original Thomas Crapper Valveless Flushers, real Crappers in the crapper!
Both the magnificent underground toilets and the Cardiff Trams Ticket Office (now the Hayes Island Snack Bar) are part of our heritage and the weft and weave of the city. Why would anyone want to get rid of them? What next - demolish Tabernacl or Saint John's to make way for a Primark or bijou appartments?
What's wrong with the telly? It's like having our own Times Square. Can't believe that guy living in the Morgan's apartments moaned about it. Why live in the centre if such things are going to bother you?
We do need some more open air seating, and The Hayes are one of the few public squares in the city. Now if we could only have the perfect weather for sitting outside...
By the way, what's this about the moaning man in the Morgan Apartments?
In the book of silly suggestions this is on page 1.
The Hayes island area is part and parcel of Cardiff life
As you say it's subjective but I think the exterior is superb and the fact that it was shoehorned into a space as part of a commercial development has actually worked in it's favour. It's forced the architect to come up with what I consider to be an innovative design. The views down Wharton Street are superb and it sits nicely with the Old Library and the Habitat building which all have a similar coloured stone but are in 3 very different styles. It needs an overhaul - but not many buildings that have been used so heavily for the last 30 years wouldn't.
Had it been built in some stand alone location I dread to think what we would have ended up with - probably some po-mo horror show like the Capitol or the hideous Bank of Wales building on Kingsway.
Out of interest what other buildings built between say 1960 and 1990 in Cardiff have anything near the ambition of St Davids Hall? Outside of some of the tall buildings such as Capital Tower, Brunel House etc I'm struggling to think of many that I wouldn't tear down in a heartbeat.
PS Add to that list Principality House in the Friary which was built around the same time as the Bank of Wales building and is so superior it's embarrassing.
I understand what you are saying Ash. I'm sometimes a lone voice in singing the praises of quite a few buildings but especially St Davids Hall. As you say the 1980's were a very bad decade for Cardiff in terms of architecture. I think it was during the 80's that the developers of Capitol centre bought up all of the buildings at the south east of Queen Street in order to knock them down and then inflict the shopping centre on us at the dawn of the 1990's.
I wonder if po-mo buildings will ever come back into fashion (if they ever were...). At the moment I'm seeing things in 1950's/60's buildings that previously I thought were awful. Cromwell House in Fitzalan Place is one - a 5/6 storey affair with egg box windows and brown tiling. I used to hate it but I really like it now. I don't know how old it is, possibly 1960's which means it's coming up to 50 years old. When it was built we were pulling down buildings that were built 50/60 years before in the Edwardian/Victorian era that without blinking. That seems unthinkable now. I wonder if in 2030/2040 we will be looking at the McDonalds building in Queen St and lauding it as a superb example of a 1980's post - modernist structure.....
It's fair point. I grew up in the 1960s when the word "Victorian" was inevitably followed by the word "monstrosity". How many people have paid small fortunes for Victorian and Edwardian fireplaces identical to the ones were ripped out of their houses half a century ago?
I bitterly regret the loss of the Empire Pool which, had it lasted a decade or so longer, would no doubt have been regarded as an architectural treasure. It's only very recently that we've begun to appreciate Festival of Britain architecture and our best example of it is buried under the horrible Stadium Plaza.
As to whether someday people will stare at Po-Mo shockers like the Dumfries Place Car Park or the Capitol Centre in awe and affection - who knows? I can't see my opinion changing!
The Empire Pool is a very good example of what I'm talking about. When it went I wasn't particularly bothered (at the time I assumed that a replacement would be built very shortly afterwards....silly boy) but looking at photo's now it is a classic building of it's time. Also - and I know this is borderline heresy to say it - but looking back in hindsight I think that the old National Stadium in terms of the aesthetics of the exterior was much better than the MilStad.
It's funny how just a few years can make a big difference. In the late 80's/early 90's it was fine to knock the Capitol theatre down as well as the Cory Hall, Dutch cafe etc. Yet about 5 years later the building at the southern end of St Mary Street (which did have Life and Liquid nightclubs underneath) was completely gutted but the facade saved. Ditto Andrews Buildings on Queen St.
I absolutely agree that the National Stadium was aestheticaly better than the Millenium Stadium. In that case though I doubt if it could have been adapted to provide the sort of facilities, hospitalty etc required in the twenty first century.
The annoying thing about the Empire Pool was that it's demolition was based on a lie - the claim that it blocked access to the Millenium Stadium. I doubted that claim at the time and the subsequent building of Stadium Plaza confirmed my suspicions.
As to the buildings in Saint Mary Street (Imperial Building & Brown's Hotel I think) it was good to save the facades - but the promise to replace the domes on the roof was never kept and the buildings have lost much of their grandeur as a result.
Am I the only one that likes the Capitol? There's something about it. Maybe it's just familiarity. I miss the original 80s-style entrance.
I post as M on here sometimes.... how many Ms are there??
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