Moore Street Electricity Substation and other concrete…

Moore Street Substation and carrier bag.

Here is one of Sheffield landmark concrete buildings.  Without any visible windows and few people seen entering or leaving I have heard many rumours for its use.  Some say it’s a secret telecommunications centre which is bomb proof.  Some say it’s a “listening” centre for various government agencies.  Others say it’s just an ugly lump of concrete and they really couldn’t care less what it’s for.  The truth is that it’s an electricity sub-station where high voltage network supplies are stepped down for domestic usage. With new buildings springing up all over Sheffield the beauty of this building is beginning to shine through.  I like it’s powerful mysterious presence in the city centre.

Click here to see another view of the substation.

Most new buildings in Sheffield lack any imagination or vision and in my view are purely investment opportunities for developers.  They add little to the city and in 20 years time will be dirty and old and will no doubt look worse than the very worst 1970’s architecture.  Take a look at the new St Pauls Towers development which is Sheffields new landmark building.  It is a concrete structure and when finished will be finished in incredibly drab cladding with less character than the concrete to which it is attached.  We can thank Sheffield City Council for approving of that. What a shame they have no imagination and no real ambition for Sheffield city centre.

I’ve popped in a photograph of Manchesters Hilton Hotel to show how landmark buildings should be done.  Great lines, simple, pure and elegant and a building which has a reason to stand tall and proud.  Stunning from every angle from anywhere in the city.

I love Sheffield but it has to be said that many of the car parks are better looking than some of the ugly buildings currently being thrown up.

Drab Drab Drab - St Pauls Towers / City Lofts Sheffield

Hilton Hotel - Deansgate - Manchester

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6 thoughts on “Moore Street Electricity Substation and other concrete…

  1. I completely agree. Sheffield’s city centre seems to be lacking vision and excitment. SEven worse we’re losing some of our most inspiring industrial heritage in exchange for what… Come on Sheffield sort it out.

  2. Hi Jay,

    Thanks for stopping to have a look at Postcard Cafe.

    You are spot on when you talk about losing our heritage. The character that was once at the heart of Sheffield is being stripped out. All the little mesters buildings are being replaced with buildings that say nothing about Sheffield. They have nothing to do with people despite being described with phrases like “city living”. In the current economic climate Sheffield City Council appear to be letting anyone who has a bit of money knock up any old rubbish on any bit of land they can make available. Yes it’s right that people should be encouraged to invest but it should be done with vision and a plan. Take a look at the city sky line. It looks like a whole bunch of mis-shapes competing for a bit of the action.

    Before this gets too negative I guess we should celebrate the bits of Sheffield we do like. Postcard Cafe will feature positive images from Sheffield alongside images that may open debate about city living, urban spaces, community and art.

    Postcard Cafe is only just over a week old and I will be adding images of Sheffield on a regular basis. Please feel free to drop in from time to time. Your comments will be welcome. All the best.

  3. I’m going to disagree to some extent – although I share your impression of St Paul’s tower. Personally I think the Winter Garden is excellent, as is the new college on Granville Road (not yet complete but looking very striking already). I Also love the Cheesegrater carpark on Arundel Gate. I do agree with you regarding a lot of the student and “city living” apartment developments that have been thrown up quickly and thoughtlessly. However, there are some examples of sympathetic conversions, e.g. at the bottom of Matilda St by the branch of Sainsbury’s.

    • Hi Pete, Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated and it’s always good when people broaden the debate. I suspect that our views are closer than you think.
      The Winter Garden is indeed a great building and is a great centrepiece to the city centre. What a shame that council planners made the decision to build a hotel next to the peace garden rather that provide a more open aspect to the building. I guess it another good example of a fine building suffering as a consequence of planning made around commercial considerations.
      I’ve only seen the new college from a distance and it does look interesting and it’s nice to be reminded of good buildings that fall just outside the centre.
      You will see I have posted a picture of a postcard that published of the Q-Park / Cheesegrater car park. I thinks it’s a stunning building. It’s one of the reasons I mentioned that car parks are sometimes more interesting than buildings intended for human occupation.
      The city living stuff really drives me mad.
      The recently restored Butcher Works on Arundel Street are a great example of how our heritage may be preserved by redeveloping existing buildings. It has the Ruskin college next door and a great cafe and gallery – check out http://www.academyofmakers.co.uk
      You are right to point out the positive side of developments in Sheffield. I just wish the council would say no sometimes and come up with a more cohesive plan for the centre – maybe it’s too late for that.
      You asked if you can put up a picture – I’m fine with that. Just state the photograph is taken by you so that you are credited for it and try not to make it too large.
      As I say I love Sheffield and am very proud to be part of a great city.
      Do you have a blog / website?
      All the best.

  4. Pingback: Moore Street Electricity Sub Station – Revisited | Postcard Cafe

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