Park Hill celebrates 50th Anniversary as new chapter begins
Next stage of development marked with sign switch on and events launch.
Thursday 16 June 2011 marks the 50th anniversary since the iconic Park Hill in Sheffield first officially opened, and to mark the occasion Urban Splash has switched on an illuminated “I Love You Will U Marry Me” sign on the famous bridge between two blocks. The graffiti, spelling out I LOVE YOU WILL U MARRY ME has become an iconic image of Park Hill over the years and Urban Splash has recognised this heritage and romance by preserving the markings with a permanent neon light display.
A BBC Radio 4 documentary aiming to get to the bottom of who wrote the message has been produced by local freelance journalist Frances Brynes and is expected to air later this summer. The message has become iconic and was famously worn on a t-shirt by Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys at a gig.
Park Hill is undergoing a major refurbishment by award winning architects Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West with landscape architects Grant Associates. The site is continuing to progress with works to the exterior and landscaping of the first phase nearly complete. Four distinct and uniquely themed show apartments will be unveiled to the public at Park Hill in September when the on-site marketing suite will open, as well as two office/shop units showcasing the new workspace on the lower floors.
Tom Bloxham, chairman at Urban Splash, said: “As Park Hill turns 50, a new chapter is beginning and it is fitting to mark this point with the unveiling of the next modern twist at Park Hill - the neon I Love You Will U Marry Me sign.
“The declaration ‘I LOVE YOU WILL U MARRY ME’ is not only an iconic piece of graffiti but is also our invitation to the city. We want people to love Park Hill once again and it is exciting to see the development taking shape.”
Urban Splash, who are undertaking the Grade II* listed building’s extensive redevelopment together with partners the Homes & Communities Agency, Sheffield City Council, Great Places Housing Group and English Heritage, has also announced a programme of events and special collaborations to mark the 50th anniversary over the summer and into early 2012. Working with local and national organisations, ranging from a mass performance by the National Youth Theatre, to a run of special Park Hill exhibitions and a music and arts series run by Article magazine, the events programme offers everyone the opportunity to come and visit Park Hill as the surrounding landscaping becomes complete and the building nears its show home launch.
In addition a number of designers and artists have been working with Urban Splash to create special homeware and artworks to commemorate the milestone 50th anniversary and the new lease of life being given to the landmark building.
•National Youth Theatre performs ‘Slick’ at Park Hill (1-3 September)
•Article Magazine’s Unit Festival of Art and Music in Park Hill - this unique series of one night music and arts events will transform Park Hill into an astonishing venue drawing people from across the UK to Sheffield throughout August and September.
•An exhibition of paintings and sculpture from the national Arts Council Collection examining Britain’s relationship with Modernism curated by the winner of the latest Select.ac competition for post-graduate students (Spring 2012)
•A new piece of homeware inspired by the regeneration of Park Hill from Corin Mellor at David Mellor Design, the internationally renowned design studio based just outside Sheffield
•A show of new Park Hill paintings by Jonathan Wilkinson, the artist behind the WeLiveHere website which celebrates Sheffield’s architectural landmarks, loved and unloved
•A set of new artworks from five architectural illustrators inspired by Park Hill, commissioned specially by architectural art specialists Dainow and Dainow
Other events are in the pipeline and will be announced as details are confirmed. The new South Street Park auditorium designed and created by Sheffield City Council will also be opened near to Park Hill.
Tom added: “The events and collaborations we have pulled together will be really special. There is lots of interest in what we’ve done at Park Hill and excitement is mounting from potential residents, businesses looking to use the commercial spaces, and people just generally interested in the building. The events programme will give people the opportunity to visit Park Hill, see how it has been transformed and start a new romance with this amazing building.”
Councillor Harry Harpham, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Regeneration, said:“Park Hill is a flagship development in Sheffield, both because it’s so visible from many parts of the city and it has such a rich and fascinating history. It’s great to see the progress being made on site. The community who live and work here have been at the heart of Park Hill since it was first built, and I am thrilled that it is becoming a great place to live once again.”
Apartments will be available to buy from September and people can register their interest at www.urbansplash.co.uk or call 0333 666 9999.