Yes, John Dobson Street (a recent re-development itself, in any case) has NEVER been up to much, as far as I'm concerned.John Dobson street, Ridley place etc etc are a massive dissapointment to me. Such a prominent spot in the city centre, yet they just dont do it for me. They are not as grand as they should be. Particularly John Dobson St. Infact its horrible.
That is one area of the city I would have loved to have been redeveloped and infact would love to see redeveloped in the future.
You're absolutely right. When planned it was never intended to be an 'urban street' at all but rather part of the city centre's inner distributor road by which buses would access the city centre, cars access multi-storey car parks, and commercial vehicles access shops via service roads at ground level. Pedestrians would be on a new deck level (as in the deck by Bewick Court). Another function for JDS was to enable the removal of traffic from Northumberland Street. But when completion of the Smith/Burns Plan became a dead letter in the mid 70s, it was built up with the gimcrack buildings we see today: a right mess; but it was never meant to be so.I think they had the right idea when they decided to put a road there but the replacement buildings were an after-thought and very piecemeal. As shown in that photo where there is now the TGWU building 80's/90s (right) which is currently being renovated and the MSC/Frankie and Bennys (left) 70's-ish, they're not thought out at all and would be easy targets for redevelopment into building of a smiliar size to the Optical Express building, which is 7 floors and that utilise the site better and create a more urban experience.
I have to admit, I like that, however it looks like it goes right through Ouseburn and therefore it would never get the go ahead. It's not in the centre of Newcastle, so wouldn't be intrusive, and I'm guessing would take traffic away from the city cntre bridges and also the Tyne tunnel to a lesser extent, which can only be good. I think it would be the erfect replacement in a different location though.OK, as I wrote at Post 1 of this thread . . "There are a LOT of things that can go into a thread about "Newcastle as it might have been" and NOT all of them are from the dim-distant-past either, some are remarkably recent.
So, here is one from 24th April 2007 . . .
The Mile-long Double Decker Tyne Bridge