Heritage Open Day – the iconic Rotunda

Birmingham Postcard

Birmingham. It gets a bad press, the accent is mocked and the city is thought of as grey and grimy. It’s not. It is a city that is the birthplace of Heavy Rock, has a world class art gallery and some beautiful Victorian architecture. I love my city.

I have lived here for most of my life. I remember going to the Bull Ring back in the 1960’s with my nan, when it was all new and shiny. By the 80’s it was considered dated and ugly. Towering over it all was the Rotunda. And yesterday I got the opportunity to visit this building for the first time. Heritage Open Day in Birmingham, offered so many places to visit but this for me was the number one to do.

The Bull Ring

The Rotunda survived the threat of the bulldozer (unlike the Brutalist Central Library) when the Bull Ring was redeveloped. It also survived the Birmingham Pub Bombing. Today it towers over the newest development over New Street Station, Grand Central, and the All Seeing eye.

 Three huge screens around Birmingham New Street railway station are to scan passers-by before choosing which adverts to play.

Each of the screens are made from 100s of tiny TV screens will analyse rail passengers, shoppers and those just passing by to assess the crowd’s demographics.

Targeted ads are then set to be played through the screens.

Birmingham Mail

The tour gave us the opportunity to see two of the Staying Cool serviced apartments and the communal roof garden.  If you suffer from vertigo, do not look down.

Even looking up is dizzying.

And you can see for miles.

The architecture tells its own story.

A bit different to the 1960’s.

The Bull Ring 1968

SmallbrooRingway 2015

Here are some other photos taken on Heritage Open Day at The Rotunda.

Hopefully it will be open again for the next year and I recommend a visit.

I am even thinking of spending a night in one of the apartments and inviting some friends around.

But I will keep the windows firmly closed. Because it’s a long way down.

 

 

 

 

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