Below are existing examples of 1930s Seaside Moderne architecture in the North West of England which I am investigating during the Looking Back|Moving Forward project.
The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Lancashire is one of the most well-known examples of 1930s Seaside Moderne architecture in the North West of England. Built by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway and designed by architect Oliver Hill, the glamorous hotel opened in 1933. The hotel also boasts four sculptural murals by renowned sculptor Eric Gill, a mural (which has since been destroyed) by celebrated artist Eric Ravilious and original carpet and interior designs, as well as a mosaic design by the incredibly talented art deco designer Marion Dorn. It was sympathetically redeveloped in 2008 by Urban Splash, after years of neglect, it now operates again with its original intention – to provide a stylish place to stay and spend time by the sea. To read more about The Midland, Morecambe, visit my blog post, and to read more about other 1930s architecture in Morecambe visit this post.
The Blackpool Casino and Pleasure Beach, Lancashire was commissioned by the family owner of the previous Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Leonard Thompson, and designed by architect Joseph Emberton, opening in 1939. Joseph Emberton, was a notable architect of the early Modernist period designing buildings amongst Olympia London, Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and Simpsons Piccadilly department store, London. Joseph Emberton continued to design features within the Pleasure Beach for several years, and further amendments to the building have been made over time by different architects. The Casino building now houses a restaurant on the upper floor, The White Tower, and acts as the ticket hall for the Pleasure Beach. The Casino and Pleasure Beach is still owned and managed by the grandchildren of Leonard Thompson. To read more about the building, visit this blog post.
Blackpool Opera House, is situated within the Blackpool Winter Gardens complex which was originally built in the 1800s. The Opera House was redesigned in 1939 by architect Charles McKeith in the modernist art deco style, and still contains many beautiful features of the period of architecture, such as wood panelled lounges with marquetry designs. The Opera House has always been a very popular music and theatre venue, and over the years a multitude of famous artists have performed there such as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. To read more the Blackpool Opera House, please visit this post.
New Brighton Palace is situated on the promenade at New Brighton, The Wirral. The extensive amusement arcade and fun fair was commissioned by the owner of the previous New Brighton Palace, Will Wilkie in the late 1930s, and construction was completed in 1939, just as World War Two broke. It was immediately turned into an ammunition factory during the war, employing hundreds of local women. To read more about this building, read my blog post. You can also read about seaside moderne style seaside shelters on New Brighton promenade here.
Grange over Sands Lido, a large open air swimming pool on the sea front in the small, picturesque town of Grange over Sands in Cumbria was built in 1932 in an early modernist style. After a long and popular use, the Lido closed in 1993 and remains currently derelict. There have been several campaigns and plans to redevelop the Lido over the years, but problems have been met due to its Grade II listing. To read about my visit to Grange over Sands, and view images of the Lido in use in the past, visit this post.
Bipsham Tram Station, Blackpool, was designed in 1932 by Blackpool’s municipal architect in the mid war period, JC Robinson. The early modernist building, sits on the waterfront at Bispham, and was intended to modernise and extend the tram network for promenaders and tourists. During the World War I and World War II, JC Robinson was commissioned to design a number of buildings to modernise the town such as libraries and schools. To read more about the Bispham Tram Station, visit this blog post. To view an example further inland of JC Robinson’s architecture, go to my blog post on Hawes Side Library.
Little Bispham Tram Station, Blackpool sits further up the coastline at Little Bispham, and was designed a few years later, in 1935, by JC Robinson. The design features the curved edges of streamline moderne, and offers features of early modernism, such as the pillars and detail on the faience tiles that reference earlier classicism. As with Bispham Tram Station, it still functions as a tram stop, and well as hosting functioning toilets, but both buildings are a little weather worn. To read more about the Little Bispham Tram Station, go to this blog post.