The resilient architectural splendour of Bradford

Bradford Chamber of Commerce.

Originally uploaded by ade_mcfade

I recently returned to the city of Bradford and was struck by how fine the architecture was in certain quarters of the city. Once the fastest-growing city in the world, this hard Pennine city has fallen from its former status as an industrial powerhouse. Still, much of Bradford’s former splendour remains. There’s the magnificant Wool Exchange; the Italianate City Hall and the understated beauty of Saltaire. All of which I’d seen before. But its the quarter north-west of Hall Ings that I’d not recalled. Here is a lattice of streets that has enough Sandstone buildings to remind you of Milan. What’s more, since I last visited, the entire area has been pedestrianised, leaving some handsome piazzes and stone squares that demand further comparision with Lombardy. Sure Bradford has its problems, and you have to squint your eyes from time to time, but its certainly not without its charm.