The city centre cathedral is a building of national importance, an incredible piece of Italian Baroque in the heart of Birmingham. For a cathedral it is small, just over 45 metres long, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with drastic and beautiful contrasting details.
On Broad Street, opposite the Library of Birmingham of 2013, stands a building which opened 80 years before: a grand and impressive construction that was the head office of one of Birmingham’s great civic institutions, Birmingham Municipal Bank, which although now closed, has a rich and fascinating history.
With help from the amazing staff in the Wolfson Centre at the Library of Birmingham we were thrilled to locate the original planning application drawings by architect Thomas Cecil Howitt, submitted on 2 December 1931.
We've carved beneath the city an invisible network of service tunnels, subways, crypts, catacombs, bomb shelters, cellars, mine shafts, railway lines and roads, writes Ben Waddington
Anchor was constructed during the mid 1950s as an underground hardened telephone exchange, designed to withstand a nuclear attack. It was kept a secret by Government Act for 15 years. Today, the huge network of tunnels remain beneath the street of Birmingham as a chilling reminder of the intense global tensions during the Cold War.
The Grade II listed New Street Signal Box on Navigation Street was designed by Bicknell & Hamilton and W. R. Healey and was completed in 1964. The bold, brutalist building housed technology that was revolutionary for its time and remains relatively unchanged 50 years on.
The Town Hall in Victoria Square was the country's first truly civic building. It was built as a place for the people, an elaborate music venue – England's first great concert hall.
Previously concerts were held in cathedrals or smaller concert venues seating less than 800 but the Town Hall changed all of that. Offering a podium for political speechmaking, public gatherings and music, the space was designed to be at the beating heart of the developing city, a building that matched the city's status as an industrial powerhouse.
The School of Art, or 'Margaret Street' as it is more affectionately referred to, is without question, the finest late Victorian building in Birmingham.
John Henry Chamberlain's Birmingham Municipal School of Arts and Crafts has been in continuous use since opening in 1885, passing into the hands of Birmingham City University in 1990.