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Lee Chadowitz, student/flmmaker
Te buildings which originally housed streets, arcades and the EmpireTeatre, are more than
a hundred years old and were designed at the beginning of the twentieth century by renowned
theatre architect Frank Matcham. Before this, the area around Victoria Quarter was a collection
of abattoirs, butchers and fruit and vegetable stalls at one end and a double foored bazaar, selling
fancy goods and haberdashery at the
other. Although much of Matcham’s rich
marble and gilded mosaic remain present
today, by the late 1980s this once thriving
retail district had fallen into commercial
decay. A painstaking restoration process
began in 1990, including the introduction
of Brian Clarke’s magnifcent stained
glass roof, preserving the best from the
past but introducing a style and creativity
which makes it such a beautiful place to
shop in the present day.
As the afternoon winds down at the centre and its many
shops close for the evening, the top foor of Harvey Nichols
prepares itself for the arrival of its dinner guests at its Fourth
Floor Café and Bar.
As the doors fnally close on a busy day full of hustle and
bustle, it’s easy to see why Victoria Quarter was recently voted the
UK’s Great Place in 2012 by the Academy of Urbanism - not only
because of its physical inheritance or appearance, but also for what
it does to contribute to the city’s economic and social life.
VQ - A Day in the Life