Half of Evening Post building to be demolished
The “Evening Post Building” as it’s always called – even though it’s home to a firm now called Bristol News & Media (BNM) – is a landmark everyone takes for granted. Everyone knows it as the home of the local paper. Everyone under 40 who was ever a kid in Bristol will remember telling their parents the temperature on the electronic display as they walked or drove past it.
The building was commissioned in 1970, when the Evening Post and Western Daily Press were owned by local firm Bristol United Press.
The chief architect was John Collins of DRG Group Architects. Collins had designed the massive DRG building by Bristol Bridge, which in its time was the tallest office building (and not tallest building, as I said in earlier version. My bad.) in the region. His CV also included the HTV building on Bath Road, and the Dolman Stand at BCFC’s Ashton Gate stadium.
The building won high praise when it opened in 1974. It looks elegant, but it’s also solid and uncompromising; just right for its setting, with busy, noisy roads on two sides.
Its blank brick facade, and relative lack of glass at ground level (apart from the foyer) was apparently also because of 1970s fears about IRA terrorism.
It comprises two more-or-less separate buildings; the offices and the printing hall. The latter is the lower bit on the side where you used to have all the logos of BNM publications and the electronic display telling you the time and temperature.
The printing hall is now being demolished. Nothing is printed here anymore as BNM’s owners, the Daily Mail & General Trust, moved the printing of the Evening Post and the Western Daily Press to other sites. Following demolition, which is expected to be mostly completed before Christmas, the area will be cleared and grassed over, and planning permission will be sought for shops and/or flats on the site.
An iconic Bristol structure, built for a Bristol-owned firm by a Bristol architect is to be half-demolished by the media conglomerate which bought it out ten years ago. The irony of this is that the Evening Post was set up because of local resentment at the antics of London-owned newspaper groups – including the Daily Mail – in Bristol in the 1930s.
The “paper all Bristol asked for and helped to create” really was just that, set up with Merchant Venturer backing and boasting a board of directors who all had Bristol addresses.
For the time being, it seems unlikely that anything new will be built on the site anytime soon.
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