Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Concrete Jungle

Here, in the Spring sunshine this morning, are what look like two photos joined together.

The bottom half is typical Yorkshire moorland - heather, grass, bilberries.

The top half is the hideous concrete hideousness of much of the University of Leeds.

Just to the right of the photo is what used to be the English department where I spent three years contemplating the hideous concrete hideousness of the buildings, when I should have been contemplating the glories of English Literature. One day there was a fire and we all escaped by climbing out of the windows on the ground floor - what a shame that we called the fire brigade and didn't just leave it all to burn.

When I was there the bit of moorland scenery hadn't been planted - it was all concrete paving stones. Someone, clearly thinking this area - I think it was known as the Maths Court - was really not terribly aesthetically pleasing, planted it with the bit of moorland some years ago.

Nice try: good intentions: but anything less than total demolition is not going to make this area anything less than vile.

It wasn't until I left the university that I realised how important the look of a place is to me: I felt miserable whenever I looked at these buildings. And I can't be the only one. When I'm In Charge, I'm knocking 'em down and having them rebuilt in either stone or brick.


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