Archive | 20:45

The Tree Palace

29 Sep

I took a stroll up High Street yesterday, making the most of the late afternoon sunshine after the torrential rain of the past few days. I stopped and sketched the top of the old Palace Theatre which is now derelict and covered in large buddleia bushes. It looks like it’s smothered in trees.

Dating from 1888, it was a traditional music hall, Charlie Chaplin appeared there, and also a theatre and cinema before becoming a nightclub in the 1970’s and a gay bar in the 1980’s. It’s shame that it’s fallen into such an awful state of repair. It’s a Grade 2 listed building but that doesn’t seem to count for much. Dad-in-law can remember standing on it’s roof during World War 2 watching while the city centre was being decimated by enemy bombers. It’s a distinctive wedge-shape, a bit like the Gridiron building in New York, but shorter. It’s one of several old, distinguished buildings in Swansea that have been allowed to become derelict and, in the middle of a recession, there doesn’t seem to be much hope of them being saved. What a shame, it survived the Second World War but is likely to be destroyed by 21st century economics.

Good news though about the Albert Hall, another old building that I sketched and blogged about a few months ago. It looks as if the Metropolitan University, formerly the Art College, might be taking it over and turning it into a performance arts centre. Brilliant. Fingers crossed for The Palace.

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