Breathing New Life into Old Walls; Londonderry's New Pounds 1.7m Verbal Arts Centre Has Been Nominated for a Top European Architectural Award. the Civic Trust Awards Will Be Presented in London Tonight and the Soon-to-Be-Opened Centre Is Highly Tipped to Win One of the Prizes. IAN STARRETT Has Been Given a Guided Tour of the Unique Building and Takes a Look at the Achievements Already Notched Up by the Team There

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), March 22, 2001 | Go to article overview

Breathing New Life into Old Walls; Londonderry's New Pounds 1.7m Verbal Arts Centre Has Been Nominated for a Top European Architectural Award. the Civic Trust Awards Will Be Presented in London Tonight and the Soon-to-Be-Opened Centre Is Highly Tipped to Win One of the Prizes. IAN STARRETT Has Been Given a Guided Tour of the Unique Building and Takes a Look at the Achievements Already Notched Up by the Team There


Byline: Ian Starrett

To many generations of Londonderry people it was known as The School on the Walls. A listed building, First Derry Presbyterian Primary School stood on the corner of Mall Wall and Grand Parade, in the south west corner of Derry's Walls.

Those legendary ramparts, at the double bastion, were the favourite playground of the boys and girls who went there for over a century.

Sometimes, during innocent playtime, a ball would stray into the walled garden of the former Bishop's Palace, where Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander once sat at a window and wrote There Is A Green Hill Far Away.

Today, at a cost of pounds 1.7 million, the Mall Wall building, down Stable Lane, has been renovated.

The mainly-unaltered exterior of this cherished landmark, to everyone's delight, remains pretty much as it did down all those years.

Inside, is an awesome mixture of past, present, art and culture.

There's a performance area, debating chamber, recording studio, children's storytelling room and a coffee house, which will be the only public cafe on Derry's Walls.

Edel Gallagher, Marketing and development officer, proudly shows me around the building, which, this Thursday night, will be one of the nominees at the Civic Trust Awards, one of the most respected architecture and environmental design award schemes in Europe.

Edel said: ''Throughout the project, the architect, Hall Black Douglas and ourselves worked together, to establish a narrative thread, which progresses from dark to light, rising through the levels of the building, to reveal the expressive range of the verbal arts.''

"We believe that the new centre will provide a unique resource for our community of creative artists, through the provision of educational programmes. The centre's potential role in enhancing and promoting the city's historic walls, by providing an exceptionally interesting and attractive visitor resource and its wider role in stimulating cultural tourism in Northern Ireland and the North West, has been recognised.''

Anyone who remembers the old School on the Walls won't recognise the place, but sentimental links with those days remain.

The old coal cellar is now the recording studio, while in the 60-seater Young People's Parliament Debating Chamber, the wooden floor is exactly the same as the one trodden on by generations. Elsewhere, there's school memorabilia, booklets and photographs of former headmasters. The weathervane on the roof has been gifted to the centre by First Derry School Former Pupils' Association.

As Edel gave me a fact-packed guided tour, I was particularly impressed by the art works that enhance the interior, especially the glass sculpture by Killian Schurmann, which contains 212 original hand-written manuscripts, gifted to the Verbal Arts Centre by writers from across Ireland.

On the reception hall floor, an exact representation of a Louis le Brocquy drawing has been executed in ceramic tiles, the children's staircase carries a series of panels by Belfast artist Rita Duffy, who illustrates stories taken from all over Ireland.

In the Coffee House, is a commissioned bronze sculpture by Carolyn Mulholland, while the library honours Ireland's contribution to world literature in etched glass panels bearing the names of four Nobel prize winners, together with their citations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Breathing New Life into Old Walls; Londonderry's New Pounds 1.7m Verbal Arts Centre Has Been Nominated for a Top European Architectural Award. the Civic Trust Awards Will Be Presented in London Tonight and the Soon-to-Be-Opened Centre Is Highly Tipped to Win One of the Prizes. IAN STARRETT Has Been Given a Guided Tour of the Unique Building and Takes a Look at the Achievements Already Notched Up by the Team There
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.