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曼徹斯特的街景streetscape

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  Few buildings survive from before the time of the Industrial Revolution. The Manchester that visitors see is, almost totally, a city of the C19 and C20. If you detect a degree of flashiness, especially with the Victorian and Edwardian buildings, then that is because they so often acted as bricks and mortar advertisements for their proprietors. Thus we have an anthology of styles. Not only are neighbouring buildings different from each other, but often the same building completes startling architectural acrobatics. The effect can be overdone but the result is usually entertaining with wild and variegated patterns, a crazy riot of window decoration, and grinning gargoyles and sculptures. Note too the very good work from the last few decades, much by distinguished local designers.

  You may be forgiven for wanting a bit of space as you wander. Sorry. As the world's first industrial city, the city grew where capital demanded. It was the proto-Tiger economy city, and as such had no time or desire to plan great boulevards or central parks. Even when local government tripled in size in the second half of the C19, such concerns as grandiose planning schemes in the city centre were usually seen as a interference in the process of business. Only now is open space being seriously considered. Indeed the city centre has gained the small but perfectly formed Cathedral Gardens adjacent to Urbis.


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