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11 July 2014
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Around Hereford and Worcester

You are in: Hereford and Worcester > In Pictures > Photo Galleries > Around Hereford and Worcester > Hereford buildings - bad

Hereford buildings - bad

Have Your Say

What do you think of these two modern buildings - triumphs or disasters? You can nominate your own worst buildings - send snaps to

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Garry Thomas
The Franklin Barnes Building Number 2 as I like to call it is a great example of 1950's design. It is Hereford's agricultural heritage. YOu can see ears of corn in the wrought iron work, sunflowers and symbolic iron nails in the sculpture and a clock to keep time. It is a great reminder of Hereford's glorius agricultural heritage. Franklin Barnes number 1 is in bridge street and is a great example of 1930's architecture. With some imaginative uses such as a herefordshire steak house or a youth hostel this 1950's architecture could be saved and our agricultural heritage celebrated. The plans are to demolish this building - it looks like it will go the same way as the old Jacobean market hall in High Town. The Hereford Levellers at work again. GT

Chris Hemming
Triumph or not, the John Venn Building should have kept the original name, not now be known as John Haider Building.

Felix Lerego
Ah the John Venn building. I drove past that building every day on my way home from school as a child and always found it to be a captivating place. Especially the back where you would see people's washing lines. I always imagined to be like west side story and felt that the people who lived there had a real community spirit and they had barbeques in the court yard and hung chinese lanterns from the platforms. I went into one of the flats before christmas and they are just as magical with period charm of its day still intact. I only wish I could afford to buy one.

Mo Burns
I think both the John Venn and the Franklin Barnes buildings are fine examples of iconic architecture with attitude. They were once proud examples of local historic landmarks and it's tragic to see them now neglected and devalued. Pleased to read Gill R's description of the Venn building in its socially benign heyday – I feel very sorry for its current tenants - and would also love to see it and its proper name restored. I admit that I wouldn’t feel distraught if the ‘side wings’ of the FB building were removed and something architecturally empathetic to the central tower part and the surrounding streetscape was built instead.

elaine harris
Not bad - misplaced. It overshadows the exquisite John Venn or Haider building adjacent. It's a matter of scale and awareness of context, a sense of place i.e. fitting in and complementing the specific site it's designed for. It takes no account of the gem beside it - a regrettably common mistake currently. Does the Planning Committeecomprise qualified architects? I find myself unpleasantly surprised by so many of the decisions they make. Well-intentioned perhaps but seemingly lacking the fine judgement of an architect's eye.

Gilly R
As a child I regularly visited my Grandmother who lived happily in a small, beautifully kept apartment in the John Venn Building - the central courtyard and the landings above overflowed with scarlet geranium,wigwams of sweet peas and trailing nasturtium tended by a proud,contented and supportive community.It was a delightful green oasis. Its central position ensured lots of short visits by her family - her grandchildren on their way home from school, her own children after work or in their lunch-hours. I am very saddened by the demise of this building;it's irresponsible/immoral to allow property to deteriorate in this way at a time when there is such a dearth of good, affordable housing; especially small units such as these. We need more such housing, not less. It enabled my Granny and her neighbours to retain their independence into a happy and advanced old age; she remained within walking distance of her lifelong haunts and never had to go into a home. I remain very grateful, as was she, for the provision of accomodation which enabled such an independent and dignified later life. The name of the building rightly commemorated the generosity and vision of the benefactor and should have been retained in honour of the extensive work he did for the poorer and needier of Hereford. Once restored, this building would again provide much-needed accomodation in the centre of the city. Imaginative restoration to include inexpensive environmentally-friendly features such as good insulation, fresh air-exchange and efficient combined heat/power units would deliver very desirable housing with low bills. People would be queueing round the block to move in. Is our Council impotent or able to facilitate such a happy future for thisbuilding? What's the next step?

Lorraine W
This block of flats, that will always be known as the John Venn building, is very attractive but has been badly maintained. It is in need of attention and despite its lick of paint and a name change, it still appears sorry for itself, especially at the rear. Despite this obvious lack of care, it is loved by many and if properly and sensitively renovated (and perhaps a return to its original name?), it could still be one of Herefords most attractive examples of the architecture of this period.The Franklin Barnes building also has its merits; I find the arrangement of the windows, along with the concrete framing around them quite interesting. It was a brave landmark building of its time for Hereford and we may find that in the desire to demolish outdated buildings as part of the "regeneration" of our city (when to reuse should be the first step if we wish to work within an environmentally sustainable framework) may in the long term actually destroy buildings of architectural merit to be replaced by mediocrity.

Its a disater, a new block of flats been built next door will make it the worst place in Hereford. knock it down a build a new block, what a way to start a visit to the City, seeing this monstrosity

Donna Hopkins
I like the Haider building...look at the corner windows...must be great to live there with big corner windows.who was the architect///which yr.

carl barrall
i believe the john haider building is a blot on the landscape in the city and deserves to be demolished,as for the franklin barnes building its been part of the city for as long as i can remember and everyone knowes where your talking about when you mention the name.

michelle gerrard
i lived in this building for six months. the day i walked into the coutyard i fell in love with it. it is granted run down but most people in hereford have never been inside. there are some images coming to this page that, i hope will shed some light on the possibilities for this building designed with the idea of comunity in mind.

Simon B
Franklin Barnes building is not bad, it's a symbol of Hereford's "big step up" (along with the ring road that runs through the city centre!) As Don C. says, this building should be valued as a symbol of the 20th Century.As for the John Venn building (I refuse to call it Haider), if it had the rusty old window frames replaced and the shabby rendering sorted out (not just a coat of paint) then it wouldn't look half bad either.

Don C.
Franklin Barnes building doesn't belong in the 'bad' section. It's a good example of post-war architecture and evocative of a time of hope and prosperity for this country. We need to value and preserve buildings from the 20th century as we do from the previous centuries before it's too late.Also whenever I see this building I for some unknown reason think of the early Carry On films :-)

John G
Originally the John Venn building - until Mrs Haider bought most or all of the flats and renamed it, it is a classic building of it's day and richly deserves being renovated and modernised to be once again a thing of beauty and charm. I believe the one wall next to the building site to be very likely the remains of the old town wall, and you can follow the line of the wall through past the Walls of old England curry house and into St Owens Street.

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