This is a detailed, authoritative, and easy-to-use guide to the architectural wealth of England’s second city, the “workshop of the world.” Birmingham’s major buildings include its splendid English Baroque cathedral, pioneering Neo-Roman town hall, and still controversial Central Library of the 1970s. Streets of rich and varied Victorian and Edwardian architecture bear witness to an earlier era when Birmingham’s civic initiatives were the admiration of the country. More recently, the city has been rejuvenated with architecture on a giant scale, including the iconoclastic Selfridges and the canalside precinct of Brindleyplace, where Modernism and Classical Revival are excitingly juxtaposed.
The guide also explores a variety of outer districts and suburbs, among them the famous Jewellery Quarter, the stucco villas of Edgbaston, and Cadbury’s celebrated Garden Suburb at Bournville. A connecting theme is provided by the local Arts and Crafts school, which flourished well into the twentieth century.
Andy Foster is an architectural historian based in Birmingham.
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