Photo By D J Norton

The New Birmingham c. 1964

Project 31

New Street/High Street/Union Street
1964 Status
2014 Status
City Centre House (a.k.a. 'Big Top')

One of the biggest developments in the city had been on the site that was commonly know as the "Big Top" due to the huge circus tent that was erected on what was effectively a bomb site.  It included shopping arcades, four department stores and a 12-storey office tower.  Much of it remains in place today with only minor modifcations, but most of the department stores are long gone.

Big Top, c. early 1961

The'Big Top' development, c.  early 1961.  Picture from the Geoff Thompson Archive.

Big Top site, aerial view, early 1963

Aerial view, c. early 1963.  Photo from the Steve Gosling Archive.

High Street rework, May 2009

Original part of High Street elevation about to be re-worked, May 2009

High Street rework, Nov 2009

Original part of High Street elevation being re-worked, November 2009

Big Top site, May 2014

Still in situ and mostly unchanged after over 50 years, May 2014