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Friday, August 11, 2006

Neighbourhood Works

I have been meaning to keep up with minor but noticeable changes around the neighbourhood - and in some cases, the absence of such change. I think that this is one function that suits a blog well. Building an archive of the place as it varies over time - and not just in major ways. Given that Moseley developed its suburban character over a hundred years ago, there's not much one can expect in terms of sweeping change. So it's necessary to look at the fine-grained aspects of change, which includes things like changes to traffic flow, the changes wrought by storms, and architectural changes, whether new build or remodellings.

On that basis I have been taking snaps of various things from street maintenance to demolitions and construction work. First up, a couple of house extensions along School Road.

This house faces Oxford Road at the corner of School Road, across from The Gables hotel. There were formerly some rather large trees around the perimeter - perhaps the fabled large leylandii:

This one is further south at the crest of the hill, and has been complete - other than the rendering - for several weeks now: The style is faithful (although I cannot figure out why those south-facing windows are so damn small!), but the difference between it and the neighbours is distinct.

There's also a bit of new construction along Oxford Road. Prior to this development there was a large Copper Beech to the left of the skip, and a splendid clump of evening primrose along one side of the site.

Lastly, in Moseley Village, the scaffolding has come down from the former Drucker's (or have I forgotten the correct name already?), after the owner knocked out the old facade and was forced to re-build in keeping with the original character. It looks like a decent job to me. The bricks are appropriately multi-hued, and the mortaring looks about right. The new windows contrast slightly with the old ones, but that's innocuous. The detail above and around the windows looks correct. In fact, I'm impressed with the way they managed to get the fluted bricks to match. Note that the chimney looks new too.

(1024 x 768 image here)

Some things haven't changed, having survived the tornado, changes of ownership, and every other sort of fate. One example is this trio of Copper Beeches at School and Oxford Roads.

The brickwork at the bases of the two on the right was done a few months ago. The brick wall on the left was also extended last year, concurrent with the clearance of the site next to it (the new build shown above).

Next time I'll include a couple of demolitions - the old school, and the place part-way up the hill.