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Stephenson Street

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes Lyn. And looking at Ell's second photo in post # 63 with the raised road for the tram, it gives the illusion of an even narrower space. I only remember it as, effectively, a back street. There was no reason to use it unless you were going to Navigation Street. But I notice when I came up for the Christmas meet the station exit had been moved to the Navigation Street end. I suppose the exit via the HSBC ramp is out of use while station development takes place. This is all a long, long way from the 'avenue' it once was when the Queens Hotel was built. A pity really because when you arrive at New St this is the first view of the City Centre you get, and it's not currently a very attractive or welcoming view. Hopefully that will all change when the transformation is complete. Viv.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
You can still go up the ramp, but the new escalators are pretty close to the new Stephenson Street exit! (have to walk via a temporary tunnel - one goes to the station escalators, the other to the Bullring link bridge). And they have buckets down there (leaking ceiling).





I normally exit to the doors on Stephenson Street further down.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Lyn. Shows us clearly the extent of the Hotel. Your view, I'm sure you know, is the corner where the Exchange Building met the Queen's Hotel/Station, looking down Stephenson Place. The Hotel was a massive building. And there were hotels almost on top of each other around Stephenson St; The Queens, The Midland and the Colonnade. There most certainly would have been a sizeable volume of visitors passing through Brum in those days.

Looking up the street I found this photo on the Shoothill site. It's the rear of the Theatre Royal dated 1901. Massive changes here. The modern day Streetview is taken in pretty much in the same position. Viv.

ImageUploadedByTapatalkHD1423497721.795845.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalkHD1423497732.046054.jpg
 

Philbrum

New Member
Vivienne

What you say is possibly quite true, here are before and after maps for comparison. though it was more than an overhang wasn't it? It was more or less part of the building without a frontage,
The topography of this area has always puzzled me because as others have noted, Stephenson Street is now very narrow and not the wide street it used to be. Looking at the maps, the Queens Hotel must have been a very narrow, if long building or maybe it is just difficult to visualise now.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Midland Hotel across the road to New St Station still has a large sign visible at first floor level. Another indicator that it was intended to be seen when stepping out of the station. Today (and even since the 1960s re-building of the station area) the Midland Hotel sign is pretty well un-noticeable to people emerging from the station. Viv.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
I'd never noticed it so thanks for pointing it out. It seems to be called the Burlington now - or rather the Macdonald Burlington.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think - even without a measuring tape! - that Stephenson Street is much much narrower today than in these two photos. There's no way you'd fit 5 or 6 cars abreast along the street today. Viv.

image.jpeg image.jpeg
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes Janice that's true. Just an observation but I've also seen photos of the street without the traffic island in front of the station. Presumably the full width must have been referred to as Stephenson Street at that time? Viv.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
I see what you mean but I had only seen it with the islands so assumed that bit was not part of the street.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
The frontage has (obviously) changed several times. When the original frontage changed with the building of the station complex in the 1960s I think on further consideration the 1960s shops along that part of Stephenson Street may have followed part of the footprint of the original station/Queens Hotel frontage. The original building frontage had a part further set back near the Stephenson Place end and a part set more forward going towards the LowerTemple Street/Navigation Street end. I remember the 1960s shops were built underneath a canopy. This canopy stretched out into Stephenson Street and the canopy formed a 'modern' type of collanade underneath. I remember this walkway was a cold and not very inviting place.

With the more recent (2015) development the canopy still stretches far out into Stephenson Street. The extent of this 'canopy' can be seen in the comparisons below - see yellow dots. It also gives the impression of a much narrower street.

I think at some point the space/driveway in front of the old station/Queens Hotel must have been formally adopted as Stephenson Street. And I wonder if this was when the 1960s station re-development took place. Viv

image.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Richie

Mr.Respectable
I've not been to the city Centre renovations regarding the tram yet, but I'm not expecting delight. The last 'new' photo looks like the station frontage in the guise of a zeppelin with miniscule people on the ground overshadowed by it. Since the sun comes from the south its never going to be lit again by sunlight.
There is a DJNorton photo which may answer peoples question regarding the width of Stephenson Street in the old days before the sixties refurb
https://www.photobydjnorton.com/PhotosByLeonardStace.html

I remember the 'modern' canopy too. If I remember right, the pavement was raised up towards the kerb and in later years square bricked to prevent ppl crossing except at approved junctions or precise bus pick up points. But you could love it or loathe it then, nowadays you can't even be decisive.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
The Stephenson Street media eye (recently turned on again) seen from Navigation Street. Old and new architecture contrasting.

 
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