Today I got to pass through the doors of my favourite building in Manchester the London Road Fire Station. For as long as I can remember this iconic landmark has lain empty and I've ALWAYS wanted to know what was going on inside!
Until now I've just had to make do with the tantalising photos taken by the urban explorers who had managed to get within. It's such a beautiful building and full of history so it was with much excitement when I found out that there was to be an open day held by new owners Allied London.
There was a serious queue when we got there at 9.30am and if felt great to finally pass the well known gates into the courtyard. I took as many photos as I could to mark the occasion!
The public were only allowed into the ground level of the building but several of the well known headquarters housed within were open for us to look around including the Engine House where we were treated to tea and croissants!:
The Ambulance Room was also open and inside was information about Allied London and architects Levitt Bernstein who have worked on similar historic buildings in Manchester and London. I was somewhat reassured by the sensitive way the past projects had been handled.
The last space opened was the Workshop where we found the planned vision for the Fire Station. It's quite eye opening how much stuff they plan to include. The only thing I was concerned about was that the original coroner court which is still housed in the building and from the photos we saw is in great condition (although closed off to the public when we were there) is not featured and, as a space of historical importance I think it should be preserved.
The doors to the coroners court which were so close... yet frustratingly closed off:
It was a great experience to explore part of the building which has ignited my imagination for so long! I've got my fingers crossed that the eventual re-development works out as well as the plans suggest and that there will be room for Manchester arts to be involved in order to represent the vibrant creative culture that has helped put Manchester on the map. Here's to finding out what happens next!