Monday, 25 February 2013

The Locarno Swindon

After leaving my birthplace Swindon over a decade ago, I recently returned to help a friend restore his c.1900 house. On a walk around the town it was rather upsetting to see that many of the towns best buildings are still being left to rack and ruin. 
Top of this list is 'The Locarno'. Since falling out of use it has survived arson attacks and demolition plans but its greatest enemy may now be a lack of human care. The building is left entirely open to the elements to further the decay.
 The hoarding around the site has large sections missing and without any visible notices of ownership, safety warnings or site security the area appears to be open to the public. It begs the questions, what will be lost first; the building or a human life?
 Above: remains of stone staircase in front entrance.
I took all of these photographs on my phone without entering the building
 Above: over the the front entrance 'Blessed be The Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits' 
 Above/Below: Original wooden folding shutters can be seen rotting away in the window openings, details like this are very important to a building, the right choice of windows and shutters can make or break a restoration. they should be archived or if in danger they could be removed for careful storage to reproduce at a later date.

 Above: very little remains of the burnt out interior
 Above/Below: side/back 'Hall'

Note to Swindon Council & The Owner(s) of The Locarno;
1. Please secure your building
2. Please do not waste this opportunity
3. All these photos were taken from outside of the building

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