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Hurst Street

July 1980

has become the heart of Birmingham's vibrant over the last fifteen years.

Previously a run down warehouse district characterised by post war industrial units and Victorian shops and housing, cut off from the rest of the city centre in the 1950s by the building of the Smallbrook Queensway section of the . (In the above picture c1950, the old Theatre Tower can be seen and in the foreground the construction of the Ringway Centre)

In the 1970s the top end of Hurst Street was a focus of gay life due to the presence of the on and the bar in Albany House.

By the late 1980s a large swathe of land to the east of Hurst Street was cleared to make way for the Arcadian Centre. The only building left surviving is (formerly The ).

Many small businesses were lost including the famous shop. (In the image above c1980, the dilapidated row of shops which made way for the Arcadian Centre can be seen. was located towards the top end of Hurst Street)

By the early 90s a number of bars had opened along the street and the formation of the we know today began.

The street has continually improved and in recent years has been a focus of the city-living trend and the explosion in leisure activities; with new apartments, restaurants and bars springing up. The ongoing regeneration is now creeping towards the down at heel lower end of the street.


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