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Old February 2nd, 2007, 03:16 PM   #1
blahblah
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The Birmingham Grand Hotel

I have been inspired to create this thread by something I spotted in the Birmingham Developments thread. Some bloody mindless vandal has proposed knocking down this achingly beautiful, and historically significant building.

What I'd like to know is, why is it its current poor state? Surely with the way that Birmingham is developing there would be a market for re-opening the Hotel as a 5 star hotel, and restoring it to its former splendour, and get rid of those bloody awful shopfronts which look like a big wart on a prett girl's face?

I'm sure I've heard it mentioned that this couldn't happen because there is no car park. If that's the case, then it's a load of rubbish. The hotel could simply rent a section of the nearby Snow Hill car park - even though this won't be popular with Martin G as he wants to see it demolished - and use valet parking.

Anyone have any photos of the interior?

Are there any plans for restoring it in future?

If not, WHY NOT!?
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 03:21 PM   #2
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The Grand Hotel (centre) Colmore Row, 1910.

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Old February 2nd, 2007, 03:51 PM   #3
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I've also been wondering about This. If the other Midland hotels can operate as they were designed to I can't see why this couldn't.

The other one's which spring to mind are the Midland Hotel at St Pancras and one in Manchester. I assume they were they linked by the same developer / operator who I guess was the Midland Railway Company

The ballroom is supposed to be very impressive and if it's half as grand as this inside as this then it obviously needs saving
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 04:14 PM   #4
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I thought the Midland was what is now Burlingtons?
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 04:19 PM   #5
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that show's how much I know

Horton's own the Grand Hotel and they've updated their hideous website. Still crap though. http://www.hortons.co.uk/roof.htm

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Old February 2nd, 2007, 04:23 PM   #6
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Isn't this owned by Hortons Estates, who stated that unless they were allowed to demolish, then the cost of refurbishment would be too expensive.

I'm not entirely clear who opposed demolition (I think everybody - and quite rightly so), and so Hortons are just going to 'sit on it' and not do anything.
If it's still the case, then this is a stalemate situation
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 04:34 PM   #7
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Doesn't the council have the power to take it into ownership?

I find it surprising that you can have this and Natwest Tower empty for so long in what is supposedly the area of town which commands the highest rents.

I don't see why Hortons won't offload it to someone who will spend the money.

I know the mansion houses along the Hagley Road were being deliberately left by Calthorpe so they weren't economically viable to repair much to local and council frustration.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 05:32 PM   #8
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got a pic of its current state?
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 05:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U475 Foxtrot View Post

I know the mansion houses along the Hagley Road were being deliberately left by Calthorpe so they weren't economically viable to repair much to local and council frustration.
Don't the council have it within their power to ensure that buildings are maintained and not left to rot? Or am i thinking about powers that are limited to conservation areas?
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U475 Foxtrot View Post
Doesn't the council have the power to take it into ownership?

I find it surprising that you can have this and Natwest Tower empty for so long in what is supposedly the area of town which commands the highest rents.

I don't see why Hortons won't offload it to someone who will spend the money.

I know the mansion houses along the Hagley Road were being deliberately left by Calthorpe so they weren't economically viable to repair much to local and council frustration.
I'm not sure of the council has the power, I wander though if the best thing for the grand is to have the top floors open to the elements when its supposedly in such a bad state of repair....I wander if Hortons will get there wish and demolish it in the end

The worst thing is Richardsons were involved in the original plan to replace it

Fine Victorian buildign replaced by Level Seven architects, shudder
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:34 PM   #11
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Blah blah, if you look at the back of the hotel you can see into what look like ballrooms and even from the distance and darkness looks amazing inside. Hint hint, for someone to take a picture.

If memory serves me right this has a well in its basement like the Ibis on Ladywell walk.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 09:26 PM   #12
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I've got one picture!



Maybe able to take more soon...
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:09 PM   #13
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Councils do have some powers to force owners to take care of their buildings, Shrewsbury and Atcham BC did with the Ditherington Flaxmill (the oldest iron framed building in the world and fore-runner of the skyscraper) but nothing improved so they CPO'd it.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Robinson View Post
I've got one picture!



Maybe able to take more soon...

JUST LOOK AT THE DETAIL IN THAT STONEWORK!!

Clearly, it needs money spending and work doing. I've sent an email to Hortons asking them what their intentions are for the building. Will post here when/if I get a response.

If anyone tries to leave this building to fall down, or demolish it. I WILL chain myself to it. I'm not joking.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:40 PM   #15
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Been digging though the Birmingham Pevser by Andy Foster. I'm sure most of us have a copy but if you don't you need to get a one!

Quote:
Beyond Church Street the Grand Hotel, built in 1876-8 for Horton's Estate and designed by Thomson Plevins. J.A. Chatwin was possibly also involved. Classical front, rendered c. 1974, its French pavilion roofs a picturesque sight from the Cathedral churchyard.

Entrance porch with paired granite Corinthian columns on elegant tall elongated bases, probably of 1890 when Martin & Chamberlain extended the building at the rear in Barwick Street. Another extension by them here, of 1893-5, eight storeys in red brick and terracotta with canted bays running right up.

This includes the best interiors, the Grosvenor Room and adjoining Withdrawing Room, with rich French C18 plasterwork.
(Important stock rooms.) Extra bedrooms by Henman & Cooper, 1900.

On the corner of Livery Street, a four-storey block in creamy-brown stone, of 1986-7 by The Weedon Partnership, still for Horton's Estate. Large round-headed dormers which stare alarmingly.



Grand Hotel, Colmore Row, Withdrawing Room, by Martin & Chamberlain, 1893-5. Photograph 1983
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Old February 4th, 2007, 11:51 PM   #16
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And a close up of some damage on the front, I assumed that they were simply cleaning it, hence the scaffolding, but it's been up for ages...






At the risk of sounding like a complete heathen, I don't think I like it. Not to say it shouldn't be restored to it's orginal finnery, but theresomething to much of the Weding cake or something about it.

In fact I think I prefer the brutal Victorian no nonsense, back of the building:



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Old February 5th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #17
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...
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Old February 6th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #18
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A couple of years back Duckies club (from Vauxhall Tavern, London) held a night in the hotel. It was a brilliant ball room with great plaster ceiling. Even better when filled with cute gay guys pogoing to Xray specs... A great nightclub but I doubt they made much money out of it.

Last year, I heard that the hotel is suffering problems because of a cement type render being applied which is knackering the stone. Cant really get it off so I expect that it one of the things that they are investigating at the moment.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 03:43 PM   #19
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Old June 21st, 2007, 03:46 PM   #20
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I can't see this surviving sadly. It is so structurally unsound that any form of development could be too costly and infeasible.
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