My vision of a York without a Stonebow House. The current structure hides 2 of Yorks historic church buildings, namely the central methodist church. This beautiful grade 2 listed building is currently completely hidden along with the St Saviourgate church which currently serves as the 'Jorvik Dig' attraction.
Removal of the currently urine soaked cancer hole would almost certainly transform the area , creating a public square, (or much needed green space) which York has always lacked. Sun would also flood the facade of the Central Methodist church.
The removal of Stonebow house would not only have made the area a lot more attractive - it would also have brought other advantages which I have identified;
- Created a public park/square which York currently lacks
- Created space to put layby parking for buses out of the road , allowing a more spacious waiting area for passengers and improving pedestrian foot traffic along the road side. As York has no central bus station, off - road standing space for buses is currently limited. This would improve capacity & passenger satisfaction.
- Create footfall for the Jorvik Dig attraction
- Create footfall & interest for the Central Methodist Church
- Allowed space for an outdoor cafe, and/or space for the nearby St Crux Hall to host their popular coffee & cake / booksales
- Improve safety & health ; a widened road would allow for segregated cycleways, a relocated taxi rank, increased/improved bus standings. A well lit, open space creates an area less likely to suffer anti-social behaviour, illegal parking, the misuse of drugs & alcohol, graffiti, and public urination/defication, - all of which the current Stonebow House Suffers.
- Allow space for public toilets. In this model I've simply planted some prefabricated toilet structures (similar to those used in Westminster London) however the basement of the current Stonebow House could be preserved to facilitate an underground public toilet. Preferably this would be privatly operated and at a moderate price. Since the closure of 'Splash Palace' (Yorks main public toilets) on Parliament street, there has been a lack of quality, safe and clean public toilets. Consequently WP Browns department store, Mcdonalds, Fenwicks and the since closed BHS have been the few places to facilitate toilets. Opening a new privatly operated set of conviniences on the square would improve York's image, accessibliity , and decrease public urination.
- Allow a performance space for open air theatre, dance, music and events.
This model has been made to express some feelings and ideas about the removal of Stonebow house - something that would undoubtly be a positive for the city, regardless of the expense. Unfortunatly this is a pipe dream and as of 2016, plans have been put forward towards the 'renovation' of the house into more private homes and retail space. HOW LAME. York's missing out on it's real assets. Not retail space or apartments, but history. It's what brings in revenue, and what makes us world wide unique. Instead we have been forced upon crummy retail space and homes. (As if that can compete with Vanguarde, Clifton Moor, Monks Cross, McArthur Glen?)
Chain restaurants and ten a penny clothing stores bleach the city more and more each year. A project focused purely on the city, its inhabitants, visitors and its history would be a project worthwhile.
As a side note the site is actually situated on some quite sloped land. This model does not reflect that and so is something to concider in creating a unique and longstanding square.