Search Visual Sound

01 August 2017

RETAILING THE FUTURE OF 1976 | NEWCASTLE'S ELDON SQUARE SHOPPING CENTRE


I've been up in Newcastle & discovering more about the super futurism of the Eldon Square shopping centre. It opened in 1976 in a blaze of sci fi design...

 

With the help of the excellent staff at Newcastle Libraries' Local Archive I looked through the original photos they've amassed from 1976/77 & into the 1980s - various examples below, taken of originals on a camera phone (not ideal)...


[ From the Eldon Square Wiki

The redevelopment of Old Eldon Square, which was carried out in the mid 1970s, was controversial with Christopher Booker writing in 1978 that it was "perhaps the greatest single example of architectural vandalism in Britain since the war. Until ten years ago this most handsome piece of old Newcastle, with its blackened, post-classical frontages survived intact. 

Today only one side remains, the rest dominated by the astonishingly brutal shopping centre put up by Capital and Counties, turning its brick backside on the world in the most aggressive way, in order to lure Novocastrians into the softly-lit womb of the air-conditioned shopping malls within."[3]

These aerial shots illustrate the scale of the site:







& some more interior, 1976 - 1979....





















For more images of Eldon Square, check out this section on NCL Uni's 'Co-Curate' website. 

Last few pics of 70s Eldon Square...





It was all going so well.

Then in 1994...


Nowadays the future is here but Eldon Square is now out of time. A sad, bland place

:-( 




:-( 

As a post-script, worth a watch...






UPDATES VIA EMAIL?