Visionary changes

PUBLISHED: 12:05 15 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

SIR – The City Vision proposals are supported by St Albans and Herts Architectural and Archaeological Society (Arc & Arc) but they are concerned that the emphasis is on civic and social use, focusing on the historic environment but not on culture. A combi

SIR - The City Vision proposals are supported by St Albans and Herts Architectural and Archaeological Society (Arc & Arc) but they are concerned that the emphasis is on civic and social use, focusing on the historic environment but not on culture.

A combination of the proposed City Vision options could show a new civic square with a department store, cafes, upgraded Alban Arena and a cinema and arts centre.

By moving the council offices to Hatfield Road (existing Law College), an iconic building attached to the cinema could house the relocated City Museum and Gallery.

The cinema could incorporate function rooms for meetings and smaller gatherings and, in conjunction with the museum, become a lecture theatre during the day.

A cinema is ideal for cultural and historic films and slide presentations, educational use for school parties, corporate functions and even larger public meetings. With a visionary operator, the cinema would be an attractive and well-used cultural hub.

Foyers of the cinema and Alban Arena would be ideal for local arts displays. Perhaps the mosaic cemented into the Arena foyer floor could be exposed, with the building becoming a pivotal part of the cultural hub.

Arc & Arc want the heritage of the city to be at the heart of the vision. The celebration of famous local people and public art that they suggest would enhance that vision, offering real hope for the future vitality and viability of our city centre.

CHRIS ADKINS

Glenbower Court, St Albans

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