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Elliott Brown Squares and public spaces
17 Aug 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Victoria Square - View from 103, Key to the City

In June 2022, Elliott was gifted the Key to the City by the lady behind the 103 Colmore Row Twitter and Instagram accounts. He visited 103 Colmore Row for views from the 18th floor balcony four times between June and August 2022. Here are the changing views of Victoria Square. Including during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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Victoria Square - View from 103, Key to the City





In June 2022, Elliott was gifted the Key to the City by the lady behind the 103 Colmore Row Twitter and Instagram accounts. He visited 103 Colmore Row for views from the 18th floor balcony four times between June and August 2022. Here are the changing views of Victoria Square. Including during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.


Having missed the February 2022 meet at 103 Colmore Row, Elliott was promised to get the key to 103 Colmore Row. He was gifted it by the lady who runs the 103 Colmore Row Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Between June and August, he went up four times. Usually as the view of Victoria Square kept changing. He always went on Saturday's.

Every time you arrive, you show your key to one of the Key to the City volunteers. The wait in the foyer could be anywhere between 20 minutes and 50 minutes (especially near the end of the Commonwealth Games). You would get a slot of 10 to 15 minutes to go up the fastest lift to the 18th floor, for views from the balcony.

It was an opportunity to get views of Victoria Square. When street art was painted ahead of the games, Elliott went twice on two Saturday's in July. And one final time in August on Super Saturday, while the 60th Jamaican Independence Day was being celebrated.

 

11th June 2022

General views down to Victoria Square from the 18th floor balcony of 103 Colmore Row.

dndimg alt="Victoria Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Vic%20Sq%20V103%2011062022%20(1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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River and Youth aka the Floozie in the Jacuzzi was flowing again.

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Hew Locke reimagined the Queen Victoria statue as an artwork called Foreign Exchange (with the IKON Gallery). It would remain here for two months (until the middle of August 2022). Sir Antony Gormey's Iron: Man statue seen to the left.

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The Council House from above.

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Victoria Square House from above.

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The Town Hall from above.

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16th July 2022

Second visit to the 18th floor balcony, to see the artwork being painted called Connections by the artist Anjuli McKenna, in Victoria Square. It was half complete at this point.

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Hew Locke's Foreign Exchange artwork with Iron: Man as it was meant to be seen.

dndimg alt="Victoria Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Connections%20B2022%20V103%20KTTC%2016072022%20(7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Town Hall again, this time with a Perry the Bull banner on Beneficial House behind.

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23rd July 2022

One week on, and the Victoria Square Fan Zone was almost complete, several days before the start of the Commonwealth Games. Also to see the Connections street art in Victoria Square fully complete. There was now a stage in the square, and would be the finish point for the Birmingham Marathona week later. The West Midlands Metro trams were also now running all the way between Wolverhampton St George's and Edgbaston Village.

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West Midlands Metro trams passing Victoria Square and stopping at Town Hall Tram Stop, in both directions.

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See more of that day here Riding trams in Zone 1.

 

6th August 2022

Super Saturday, and the final weekend of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and the City Centre was very busy. It was also the 60th anniversary of Jamaican Independence which was being celebrated in Victoria Square at the time. This would be my final visit to 103 Colmore Row, before Key to the City ended the following day.

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Thank you to 103 Colmore Row, the Key to the City volunteers, to Fierce and Yale Locks.

 

Next up is PoliNations in September 2022, but will have to get views from Victoria Square itself.

 

Photography by Elliott Brown

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110 passion points
Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
04 May 2022 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The return of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch to Centenary Square after almost 5 years!

It's been a long time in waiting, but William Bloye's 1939 statue of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch is back. Now located in Centenary Square next to Symphony Hall. They were formerly on what was part of Broad Street from 1956 until 2017. By then the land behind them was Arena Central, and they had to move for Library Tram Stop. Back in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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The return of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch to Centenary Square after almost 5 years!





It's been a long time in waiting, but William Bloye's 1939 statue of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch is back. Now located in Centenary Square next to Symphony Hall. They were formerly on what was part of Broad Street from 1956 until 2017. By then the land behind them was Arena Central, and they had to move for Library Tram Stop. Back in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.


The history of the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue by William Bloye

The gilded bronze statue of Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch was by the sculptors William Bloye and Raymond Forbes-Kings and it stood on a plinth of Portland stone, (formerly) outside the old Register Office on Broad Street in Birmingham (later the House of Sport after the Register Office moved to Holliday Street).

It is known locally as The Golden Boys after its colour, or The Carpet Salesmen after the partially-rolled-up plan of a steam engine which they are examining.  

All three men were members of the Lunar Society.  

Sponsored by an £8,000 bequest from Richard Wheatley in 1939, and £7,500 from the City Council, it was unveiled in 1956, from preliminary designs drawn up in 1938.  

The statue was restored and re-gilded, and replaced in its old position in September 2006. 

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton%20Watt%20Murdoch%202009.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Views of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch in 2009

While I initally first took the statue on my first digital camera around April 2009, by the time I got my first bridge camera in June 2009, I headed to Broad Street, and took the follow photos below outside of the House of Sport. This was only about 3 years after the bronze statue had been re-gilded in 2006, now making it shiny and golden!

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Boulton, Watt & Murdoch from 2011 to 2017

More occasional photos in the years following my initial shots of the statues, such as when the Library of Birmingham opened, or when Arena Central started.

January 2011 - a (then) new information sign about the statue, and details about Matthew Boulton, James Watt & William Murdoch.

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July 2013 - red flowers were planted in front of the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue on what was then still a part of Broad Street.

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September 2013 - the Library of Birmingham is now open, and at the time, a view down to the Bouton, Watt & Murdoch statue, still surrounded by red flowers.

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April 2015 - early work begins to fence of the House of Sport (the old Birmingham Register Office) on Broad Street. As Arena Central got underway, but Boulton, Watt & Murdoch remained in place. Traffic was being diverted onto Bridge Street.

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May 2015 - Hoardings had gone up in front of the House of Sport ahead of it's demolition later in 2015. But you could still see the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton Watt Murdoch (May 2015).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

October 2015 - demolition on the former Register Office / House of Sport was well underway, just a section near Bridge Street to come down. You could still get close up to the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statue at the time.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton Watt Murdoch (Oct 2015).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

November 2015 - a view from the Library of Birmingham. DSM Demolition had a lot of rubble to clear of the House of Sport, while scaffolding had gone up the Boulton, Watt & Murdoch statues to protect them.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton Watt Murdoch (Nov 2015).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

April 2016 - by this point the demolition behind Boulton, Watt & Murdoch had been complete, and it was now the site of One Arena Central. Library of Birmingham view.

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There was plant machinery in front of the statue.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton Watt Murdoch (Apr 2016) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

And there was a temporary path between Arena Central and where Boulton, Watt & Murdoch were.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton Watt Murdoch (Apr 2016) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

February 2017 - a night shot of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch from Centenary Square. You could now see views to the hotels behind including Crowne Plaza and the newly built Holiday Inn Express (TETRIS building) at Arena Central.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton Watt Murdoch (Feb 2017).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

April 2017 - a rear view of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch, taken from Bridge Street, looking over Arena Central towards the Library of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton Watt Murdoch (Apr 2017).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

August 2017 - the last views of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch for 5 years before they went into storage. One Arena Central hoardings still behind them, and Midland Metro Alliance hoardings in front of them.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton Watt Murdoch (Aug 2017) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A daylight view towards Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express. This was my last actual photo of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch for almost 5 years (before they went into storage). This view on the 10th August 2017, the statue was removed on the 23rd August 2017 (ahead of the building of the Westside Metro extension). Library Tram Stop would open on their old spot by December 2019.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boulton Watt Murdoch (Aug 2017) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Return of Boulton, Watt & Murdoch - late April 2022

While the Portland stone plinth was back in place by St George's Day, the actual gold covered bronze statue was lowered into place on the 29th April 2022. Just in time for the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend. Although there is still fences around it, and more paving work to do. As well as the installation of a future plaque, about Boulton, Watt & Murdoch's slavery links (post Black Lives Matter).

With Library Tram Stop (opened end of 2019).

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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Seen outside of Symphony Hall, their new home.

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With the Library of Birmingham.

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Lookig towards Paradise Birmingham.

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Looking towards HSBC UK - One Centenary Square and The Exchange | University of Birmingham at Arena Central.

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looking towards Three Arena Central (One Arena Central aka Five Centenary Square still hasn't been built yet).

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (11).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looking towards the Hyatt Regency Birmingham and near the new foyer of Symphony Hall.

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dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (13).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The view of Centenary Square on the 30th April 2022. Boulton & Watt & Murdoch now join The ICC, Symphony Hall, The REP, Library of Birmingham, Baskerville House and Hall of Memory. As well as Library Tram Stop.

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dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (15).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

From the other side of Centenary Square in this wide panoramic (centred on the Library of Birmingham). Bit hard to see Boulton, Watt & Murdoch but they are on the far left near Symphony Hall, while Edward VII is near Baskerville House. From HSBC UK to the old Copthorne Hotel (which will be demolished in the next few years).

dndimg alt="Boulton, Watt & Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BWM Centenary Sq 30042022 (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Welcome back lads, you have been missed!

For other monuments of Matthew Boulton, James Watt & William Murdoch, see the post on St Mary's Church, Handsworth.

Photography by Elliott Brown

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100 passion points
Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
03 May 2022 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - March/April 2022 Update

Visable progress at One Centenary Way.

Upper floors now await windows, external lifts have been installed and all the steel work is complete.

This post includes some great photos of this prominent build. 

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The Construction of One Centenary Way - March/April 2022 Update





Visable progress at One Centenary Way.

Upper floors now await windows, external lifts have been installed and all the steel work is complete.

This post includes some great photos of this prominent build. 


One Centenary Way - Construction update (March and April 2022)

8th March 2022

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26th March 2022

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16th April 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

There are now over 750 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Full Construction Gallery

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100 passion points
Stephen Giles Construction & regeneration
27 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Demolition and Site Prep for Octagon at Paradise Birmingham

Demolition is well underway at 77 Paradise Circus. The building's roof and supports have now been fully dismantled, and a long reacher is now on site to quickly demolish the body. 

Take a look at our article for a full reverse photo journey of the building from February 2021, to the present day.

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Demolition and Site Prep for Octagon at Paradise Birmingham





Demolition is well underway at 77 Paradise Circus. The building's roof and supports have now been fully dismantled, and a long reacher is now on site to quickly demolish the body. 

Take a look at our article for a full reverse photo journey of the building from February 2021, to the present day.


25th September 2021

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21st February 2022

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23rd February 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

26th February 2022

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Photography by Stephen Giles.

8th March 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

26th March 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

28th March 2022

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Image from Paradise Birmingham webcam.

5th April 2022

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8th April 2022

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12th April 2022

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20th April 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

26 April 2022

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Image from Paradise Birmingham webcam.

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Octagon; ©Glenn Howells Architects.

There are now nearly 100 photos of the demolition and site preparation for this building, which can be seen in reverse date order in our full gallery here: One The Octagon Full Construction Gallery

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Stephen Giles Construction & regeneration
27 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of The Square on Broad Street - April 2022 - Update Two

Cortland Broad Street's concrete core is huge! It currently sits on floor 34, just short of its maximum height.

The lower levels of the 35-storey residential tower are also progressing, now up to level 5/6, with its six-storey lower extension now climbing above the hoardings on Ryland Street.

Lots of construction images here in this April Part 2 update.

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The Construction of The Square on Broad Street - April 2022 - Update Two





Cortland Broad Street's concrete core is huge! It currently sits on floor 34, just short of its maximum height.

The lower levels of the 35-storey residential tower are also progressing, now up to level 5/6, with its six-storey lower extension now climbing above the hoardings on Ryland Street.

Lots of construction images here in this April Part 2 update.


3rd April 2022

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7th April 2022

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8th April 2022

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11th April 2022

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13th April 2022

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17th April 2022

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26th April 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

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Image kindly taken by Kingsheathen.

There are now nearly 200 photos of the construction of this building, and these can now be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: The Square, Broad Street - Full Construction Photo Gallery

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