A new book celebrating 50 of Salford’s buildings has been released.

The book, Salford in 50 buildings, allows readers to discover the city’s architectural treasures and landmarks from across the centuries.

The book was written by Carole O’Reilly, Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Salford, and Paul Rabbitts, landscape architect and urban parks expert.

Carole explained that she felt Manchester gets a lot of attention, but Salford is often forgotten about, this sparked the idea for the book.

She said: “I was saying: ‘Yeah, you know Manchester is all very well, but poor old Salford gets overlooked and overshadowed’ and I said: ‘You know, it’s got better architecture than Manchester, so he [Paul] said: ‘Let’s do it then.’”

The book features everything from Synagogues, schools, pubs and theatres across different areas of Salford.

Carole added: “We wanted to do a real mixture of different building types and different building styles, because when people think about northern cities like Manchester and Salford, they think about all the Victorian buildings, but we wanted to show that there’s way more to it than that.”

Take a look at the map to find out more about the buildings that are included.

The architectural landscape of Salford has changed a lot over the past few years, with many old buildings being left empty and unused.

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Carole added: “There’s lots of new buildings going up, lots of the old ones have been lost, even in the last few months. So, when you’ve got that as a context, I think that is a good opportunity to say: ‘Let’s take a look at the best that are left’, because in a years’ time, some of them might be gone.

“It felt like a really good time to do this while all this rapid change is going on to try and encourage a bit more respect maybe for the landscape than there’s been in recent years.

“It’s so difficult because these are great buildings, but unless you can find a new use for them in the 21st century then what is their purpose? We wanted to raise those kinds of issues as well, just how difficult it can be to preserve some of these buildings if they don’t have an obvious use in the 21st century.”

Salford Shopping City example of Brutalist architecture
Photo Credit: Mikey

Carole explained that the process of writing the book helped her to gain a new appreciation for some buildings in Salford.

She added: “I really developed a new respect for Salford Precinct, that might sound like an odd one to pick, but it’s one of the few examples of Brutalism in Salford and actually when you look at the detail of it up close it is really interesting.

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“It was supposed to be part of a very ambitious big scheme, there was supposed to be hotels and all kinds of things, originally in the plans that never metamorphosed.

“So, I guess it kind of reminds you just how changing and temporary architectural plans can be.”

Carole continued: “I think the one of the cover as well, Arlington House, is definitely a personal favourite, in terms of style and in terms of the way it’s tucked down a street, people mightn’t necessarily know it was there.

“That was partly why we chose to put it on the cover so that maybe it would stop people in their tracks, and they would think: ‘Oh, where’s that building?’ because it’s not particularly recognisable, but again it’s a wonderful building to be up close to, there’s so much going on in it, it’s fantastic.”

Salford in 50 buildings retails for £14.99 and can be purchased here.

Listen to the full interview with Carole O’Reilly below.

Featured image credit: Chloe Deakin

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