Friday, September 7, 2007

Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham


One of the landmark buildings by Watson Fothergill (see previous blog entry) is the office and printing works of the Nottingham Express. This picture shows just one corner of the building, the striking entrance, beneath its round tower. Fothergill liked towers and turrets – he knew they gave variety and eventfulness to a façade and must have relished the opportunities they provided for interesting roofs, openings, gargoyles, and so on. This one has more than a touch of one of Fothergill’s heroes, William Burges, the architect of Cardiff Castle. Burges would have admired the polychrome masonry, the Gothic arches and ornate capitals, and the generous use of sculpture on the building as a whole.

As on Fothergill’s own office, the carvings tell a story. To highlight the political stance of the Nottingham Express, he included heads of three prominent Liberal politicians: William Ewart Gladstone (who had served his first period as Prime Minister and resigned his leadership of the Liberal Party by the time this building was constructed in the mid-1870s), Richard Cobden and John Bright (MPs and leading campaigners against the Corn Laws). Both architecturally and politically, the Nottingham Express building nails its colours to the mast.

2 comments:

architectguru said...

I have just replied to your other post without seeing this one.
The building is such and treat architecturally and should be appreciated, I think that due to its location it is passed by many without taking the time to step back and truly appreciate what a fantastic building it truly is.

Haji baba said...

Graham Greene worked at the offices for a while and described the rain dripping off the noses of the stone heads although I have yet to see it myself.