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  1. What were the drivers of change that transformed Bath in 17-19th
  2. What tools were used by developers and other stakeholders to achieve their planning and design vision/ outcomes?

The Importance of Bath in Pre-Georgian Times

Bath from the pre-Georgian era has been one of the most important cities in the region. Its importance was not for its geopolitical position or its militarily strategic location, but this was the city of aristocracy. The British taste of aristocracy is well known to the world. The country which gave rise to various wonders and number of innovative ideas to the world has been always a city of architectural marvel and aristocratic lifestyle. Britain is the city of Monarchs and one of the main principles of the monarchy is living a life of luxury. The architectural marvels of Britain are still now a factor that keeps the country a level ahead. The various architectural features in the country predates the present United Kingdom and has a number of architectural styles from around the world, including the Roman architectural style, the Greek architectural style, and the contemporary.

The city of Bath is by feature quite similar to the name given to it. The city is famous for the large Roman baths. Presently the city can be defined as an international “Spa”. In the 60 C the city was named as Aquae Sulis which means “water of the Sulis”, and was one of the centers where people from all over Europe came to enjoy the Hot water bath in the Hot springs (Rogers 2014). In the 7th Century “Bath Abbey” was founded which had religious values to it. In the 12th Century this same bath was again rebuilt which have been greatly affected due to the influence of time. Again such rebuilding effort took place in the 16th Century. In the 17th Century there were claims about the medicinal properties in the Bath which made this one of the very famous and sought after tourist destinations in the region (Neale 2014). In the Georgian era similar trends were seen when the Bath water taken for its medicinal property and people from all over the region came for getting rid of various diseases (Haraldsson 2014). The Georgian style of architecture is very royal and has various spectacular features like precious and semi-precious stones and very intricate designs. 

The city is often termed as Europe’s one of the most beautiful cities because of the ornate characteristics discussed above. The primary reason this city existed and thrived is because of its springs, especially the hot springs. It is said that King known by the name Prince Bladud who was the father of King Lear was affected by the disease of leprosy which was cured on taking dips in the hot springs of this city (Edmunds 2014). In the Celtic times the city became a holy destination where people came to get rid of such incurable diseases. However, in the 6th century AD the city and its various features were destroyed which were again rebuilt as mentioned above. In 16th Century the number of people flocking in the baths to get cured of diseases likes leprosy, infertility, small pox and other ailments. However not before the 17th century that the city got its present look of such a ornate and beautiful place with large luxurious houses and very beautiful properties. Most of the structures and the houses were very humble and meek. The city was pretty but not very much luxurious to put it in perspective.

The Roman Baths and the Rise of Aquae Sulis

Bath was transformed to its present spectacular nature because of certain reasons. First of all, the visit of Queen Anne was one of the most celebrated events of the city. It happened in 1702. Following that incident, the elite of the country were very much interested in taking the ritual of bathing in the hot springs as a luxurious activity and as a symbol of aristocratic lifestyle. It became an amusement activity for them to visit the place, take bath, gamble and enjoy company of each other. However, it may not have become the center of amusement and a spa resort if a person known as Richard Nash had not arrived in the city with the plan of transforming the cities face with the objective of increasing his own fortune.

The theory and concept that was used in the building of the architecture of Bath was “utilitarianism” by philosophy, and “performance” by function. The utilitarianism theory states that the maximum utility of the investment should be extracted, which was the motive of the builders. In doing so they were building atheistic high performance and long lasting structures.

Richard Nash changed much of the appearance of the city by introducing new guest houses, resorts, clean area, roads, promenades and very beautiful architectural features. John Wood is the person on whom the presently seen beautiful architectural features of Bath can be designated to. The architect took up the classical style of architecture which by itself is very beautiful to look at and experience. The temples were built in the style of Roman temples and porticos. In ancient Greece the style of classical architecture began with several features like the symmetrical alliance, proportional equality and “Five orders”. These were initiated in the period of ancient Greece and were continued by the subsequent kings of the Roman Empire. The famous and popular architecture of Venice whose name was Andrea Palladio built architecture that were very classical and reflected antiquity, the influence of this architect on the British Architecture was vast and the subsequent architecture came to be known as the “Palladian” architecture. Architects of that era were revered by most of the people around the globe and the profession was regarded as a noble profession. John Wood who was the person behind the architecture of Bath as it is seen today took up inspiration from the above mentioned styles and architect. There was a difference between individual builders who designed the individual buildings and the architect. The architect’s design was adopted by the individual builders to bring a conformity in the look of the city.

Bath in Georgian Times and the Rise of Aristocratic Lifestyle

In the first phase the land was inspected and surveyed and the plots were separated for building the individual structures. “John Wood originally hoped to build on the low level plain between the Abbey area and the River Ayon”. The main motive of the people who were sponsoring the building of the city were aiming at selling the properties and go away with the profit. Therefore, they wanted to use building material with the least expense. To bring building material from very far areas would be expensive to an extent that the cost of the apartments would become much higher. Therefore, limestone was selected that could be dug out from the nearby quarries.  Wooden rails were built on which the stones were transported from the quarries to the construction sites. Two kinds of masons worked to build the city. One was the ones who shaped and structured the stones brought down from the quarries and the other one was the masons who were actually building the structures on ground. Plumbers, tilers, carpenters and masons were all engaged in building the roofs of the buildings in very advanced way. The streets were “paved, lighted and cleansed” (Laing, Voigt and Frost 2013. The iron railings were designed in a particular uniform way which were erected in the front areas of the houses

The style of architecture introduced by John Wood was the classical architecture of Greece and Rome. The lands were leveled, even though the task was considered very dangerous and troublesome at that point of time. However it was done and the “Camden Crescent” was built finally in 1788 in a mind-blowing position in a cliff on a river valley, but with a collapse of the land 5 buildings “slid” down the hill. The practice of building homes and other structures on stone blocks and flat and firm sites continued. There was two year time taken for building individual houses. Workers used to drag the stone upwards however very heavy blocks were dragged upwards by machines and manual cranes. One of the important features of the buildings is the stone surroundings. The first floors had the most intricate and ornate windows. This is the process in which the city was built building by building.

Thus by bringing all kinds of engineering marvels, including many skilled architects and builders, utilizing technology, cleaning streets, and making an overall grooming of the city the objective of transforming the city into a tourist destination was achieved. At one hand the “medicinal properties” of the hot springs and on the other hand the beautiful architectural features, brought many aristocrat rich people to the city and the city thrived as the “bath of Europe”.

Classical Architecture and the Influence of John Wood

The city Glebe has a long history which began with the settlement of the Cadigal clan which lived in the region of Sydney Cove and reached to the South of the Port Jackson. However, in modern Glebe the earliest residents of the Cadigal clan is no more to be found. Presently the population of Glebe is linked with each other in a historical context and they have a distinctive character (CUI and ZHOU 2013).  The first settlement of the Sydney Cove happened in 1788 and the first survey by Governor Phillip happened in the year 1790, and the grant of 400 acres’ land to the Church of England was made at that point of time. The Grant was made in the person of Reverend Richard Johnson. This was the land that came to be known as Glebe or “The Glebe” or even the “St. Phillips Glebe”. The word was derived from the Latin word glaeba which in English means “a clod of earth”. The word had its own ecclesiastical meaning which signified “the Church’s land”.

The history of Glebe did not have the characteristic features of forced settlement or any kind of armed conflict recorded in the accounts of the contemporary period. The Land of the Church all over the world were mainly used for missionary’s purposes and the main motive was to preach the glories of the Christian religion through these land bases.

In 1858 some of the land of this vast 400 acres’ land had to be sold by the Church because of several financial difficulties faced by it. The social system of Glebe was then divided into two different categories. One was the gentry who were living in the Glebe point and the workers lived in other regions. This stratum was mainly divided along the line of the faith. However, with time, and with the appearance of people from various communities and various economic background to the city of Glebe there were now various classes living and co existing. There were the middle and lower middle income groups living and also the higher income group brought land and appeared in the situation. A quite peninsular region was now converting into a bustling suburb. The starting of the today’s heritage buildings and signature architecture of this city belong to this particular era. “According to the Australian Council of National Trusts, Glebe “possesses probably the largest stock of Victorian cottages and terraces, grouped in the same townscape, to be found in Australia. On recognition of its value the National Trust has declared Glebe to be an essential component of the nation’s architectural and historic heritage.” (glebesociety.org.au 2018).

Building Bath with Utilitarianism

During the depression and various economic crisis of the early 1900s the place lost its charm and exclusive nature. People were coming and encroaching on the lands. This made the place very overcrowded and chaotic. The respect of the city was fast dwindling down. However, such crisis could not influence the nature of the city and its community to hold and retain their own cultural feature. Many of the wonderful architecture and buildings of this place was demolished or destroyed in the middle of the 20th century. Prior to this in the time when the city was gradually becoming overcrowded there was a serious issue of sanitation and cleanliness in the city. This was because the city was yet not developed enough to hold such a large number of people. There was a phase after this when public house construction was taken up to support this large number of people, however these new buildings were not at all beautiful or having aesthetic features in their construction pattern. Beginning from the 1969 the city was demolished and reconstruction phase started. During this deindustrialization and redevelopment there was a rise of concern about the heritage of the city which was now at threat. The Glebe society was created at tyhis point of time which aimed at restoring the lost glory of the place and to make sure that the heritage buildings and the architecture are preserved in their original form. The city in the year 1974 was listed in the category of a “Conservation area” by the National Trust which is the official body that looks after the conservation of heritage areas of the country. The city because of the large scale rebuilding efforts faced a major threat of environmental pollution, and this issue was raised by various organizations and quarters.


The planning theory and the motivation and rational behind construction of this city is described in the following paragraphs.  The easygoing onlooker can without much of a stretch recognize an extensive variety of lodging writes in Glebe, from the Regency house, rural manor, the substantial porch, the little single-story patio to the unsupported cabin, an assorted variety mirroring the wide exhibit of word related gatherings that have made Glebe their home.

The theory of “blue print planning” was used to build the town in this case. In this theory aspects like “exposure to direct sunlight, movement of vehicular traffic, standardized housing units, and proximity to green-space” are used to ensure that the structures are functional. The rational planning movement got popularized and was utilized in building purposes. However there was a need of a pool of very expert engineers and workers who had knowledge on this kind of building. Therefore these kinds of constructions were costly to be executed. This movement started from Britain and soon spread throughout the world. The local flavor of architecture was combined with the British philosophy.

Transforming Bath into a Tourist Destination

The planning in the later stage after the Church sold the land was done purely on a commercial basis. After the reconstruction of the city happened new structures were built and the motive was to sell the properties. Other metropolitan areas were also developed in Australia and the motive was addressing some of the negative aspects of the uncontrolled urban growth.  Engagement was given on spatial plans that were existing widely across the metropolitan areas. Urban centers were built and new housing estates were to be built.


Bernard and Kate Smith's The Architectural Character of Glebe (1973), where the Smiths recognize five principle styles, Colonial, Georgian, Regency, Victorian Gothic, Italianate and Federation. And additionally local structures, Glebe has various legacy heritage city structures and the suburb's modern and waterfront exercises have likewise left an inheritance of some fascinating Victorian distribution centers and mechanical prehistoric studies. In late issues of the Glebe Report, it’s found out about Lansdowne movement and stopping difficulties, and preparatory thoughts for the Glebe's future look and feel. Every one of these issues identify with one of the Glebe's key highlights: it is a zone of chronicled character. Thusly, its boulevards and structures are deserving of remembrance and protection (Rauscher and Momtaz 2015). Older structures speak to a critical stylish, social and financial asset – and additionally a non-sustainable one. Numerous notable structures have been obliterated in Ontario in the course of recent decades since engineers have contended, "the expenses of redesigning and adjusting these structures for new use is too high. Decimation of the current structures and supplanting with new structures … is the main path for financial specialists to make a sensible benefit from the land." Rozelle Tram Depot, developed in stages from 1904, is the biggest outstanding cable car stop in Sydney, and is one of five residual cable car terminals in the territory of New South Wales. Tasks stopped on 22 November 1958. The warehouse at exhibit contains six notable cable cars, some of which go back to the 1930s, and an old mentor that has been intensely vandalized. The cable cars that were in close mint condition before 2000 have now been vandalized, stripped and painted with spray painting. The station served the internal western rural areas cable car courses to Leichhardt, Balmain, Birchgrove, Abbotsford, and Lilyfield. Amid its pinnacle of tasks the stop was a noteworthy place of business, utilizing up to 650 staff and was one of couple of work environments of huge size in the Glebe region amid its period. The stop stopped tasks on 22 November 1958. Bellevue, situated in Blackwattle Park, was worked in 1896 by Ambrose Thornley for unmistakable Glebe occupant William Jarrett. It was later reestablished and transformed into a bistro. Bellevue is legacy listed. Bidura, arranged on Glebe Point Road, was worked by the modeler Edmund Blacket for his family. Worked in 1857, the house may have been affected by the plan of the close-by Toxteth Park.

References:

CUI, D. and ZHOU, J.G., 2013. The Issue of Interlocal Inflation in Dalian City Due to the Factor of Population and Glebe. Value Engineering, 3, p.150.

Edmunds, W.M., Darling, W.G., Purtschert, R. and Alvarado, J.A.C., 2014. Noble gas, CFC and other geochemical evidence for the age and origin of the Bath thermal waters, UK. Applied geochemistry, 40, pp.155-163.

Glebesociety.org.au (2018). The Glebe Society. [online] The Glebe Society. Available at: https://www.glebesociety.org.au/ [Accessed 12 Apr. 2018].

Haraldsson, I.G., 2014. Geothermal baths, swimming pools and spas: Examples from Ecuador and Iceland.

Laing, J., Voigt, C. and Frost, W., 2013. 14 Fantasy, authenticity and the spa tourism experience. Wellness Tourism: A Destination Perspective, 33, p.220.

Neale, R.S., 2014. Bath: ideology and Utopia 1700-1760. In The Eighteenth-Century Town (pp. 231-250). Routledge.

Rauscher, R.C. and Momtaz, S., 2015. Glebe—Maintaining and Upgrading Traditional Neighbourhoods. In Sustainable Neighbourhoods in Australia (pp. 161-172). Springer, Cham.

Rogers, G.M., 2014. The Sacred Identity of Ephesos (Routledge Revivals): Foundation Myths of a Roman City. Routledge.

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