The best (and worst) of Chester’s architectural sights have been recognised in an alternative New Year’s Honours ceremony.
Chester Civic Trust has named ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ buildings and features within the city.
Receiving the ‘chairman’s special award’ was Muir Group Housing Association’s refurbished office in Lightfoot Street, Hoole.
Judges were impressed by what a difference the remodelling has made to a “formerly dull and uninteresting” building once occupied by the NHS.
‘Good’ awards went to the new crematorium at Blacon, Chester Blue Coat CE Primary School, The Church bar and restaurant and a new office at Woodhouse Farm, Aldford.
Schemes considered worthy of commendation included the Portico Project, an EU project to conserve and enhance towers and gateways around the City Walls, The Architect bar and restaurant, a community building on Aldford Common, the refurbished Edgar House Hotel and for the first time a website, Mapping Medieval Chester, has received an award.
In the Bad section, Trust members highlighted the continued closure of the passageway between Liverpool Road and Parkgate Road due to a collapsed wall and the deterioration of Greenbank in Handbridge.
Those cheap, yellow bus shelters installed as part of the revamp at Chester Bus Exchange received the Ugly award, being deemed “of poor quality”. Members also drew attention to the rear yard of an empty building in Newgate Street which is “a real eyesore” when seen from the City Walls.
The scheme aims to recognise the best of recent changes in the local environment and draws attention to those which fall short of the standards which Chester deserves.
A presentation lunch was recently held at the trust’s Bishop Lloyd’s Palace headquarters attended by councillors, Cheshire West and Chester Council officers, and many award winners.
Trust chairman David Evans said: “We aim to encourage high standards of design and maintenance particularly in the public realm. Buildings, shop fronts, lighting, open spaces, street furniture, play areas and people are all eligible. Despite the continued recession there were lots of entries, in particular in the Good category, and the judges were impressed with the quality of the nominated schemes.”