Hull’s Acropolis


Aware of Hull’s lack of historic ruins a programme of invention took place. Relying on the precedence of the classical architectural sensibility in its city centre historic buildings of municipal, commercial, retail, industrial and culture, Hull

built a lasting material legacy along its post-industrial riverside that would attract the global tourist and make Hull a

global destination. These images are from a series of postcards from the future, found by accident in the Hull History

Centre archive.


The cultural thrust of capital within the urban means a lot of rubble rather than ruin – the old is demolished to make way for the new; this is nothing new. The aesthetic becomes social and political when one examines the dialectic and the meaning of ruins. Often the dominant reflection on the ruin is of the distant past. Yet this is determined and controlled by the hegemonic of the time. So a pile of stone can become a history lesson, an interpretation of history and heritage, a narrative of local and national importance – something invented by each generation.




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© Paul Collinson