Tuesday 31 July 2007

Firestone non resurget - # 185

Here's what started the fuss. The remnants of the great, magnificent Firestone Building on the Great West Rd: what's left of it, and what replaced it.

It signifies the move from the manufacturing economy towards the "knowledge" economy, the passing of the 20th Century and the move towards the 21st. It reminds us of how a major fault in a product can bring down a huge company (the Firestone radial tyre catastrophe).

The demolition of the Firestone building caused outrage, and thanks to that the other fine buildings have been preserved.

Open your search engine and key in "Firestone building, demolition, Great West Road" and you'll find a wealth of history and emotion.


  1. I did the search... and found your blog (the first two references)!

    It seems that at least the front gate has been preserved (but well closed)! Anyhow, I can understand how this has been critisised!

  2. I don't know what happened to Firestone tires but they used to be a popular tire on new automobiles and people bought them when replacement tires were required. Nowadays it is other brands advertised on the Indianapolis 500 and I can't recall the last time I saw the Firestone brand on anything.

    I like your post today and the photo is excellent.

    Brookville Daily Photo

  3. Outrageous it should have been demolished in the first place but good to know something is left. I really like this photograph showing those beautiful gates and posts.

  4. You mean the major fault in the product called the internal combustion engine, surely.



  5. @sally - do you mean the internal combustion engine was the major fault in the product called the 20th century

    @chucker - you've certainly made the most of that sunny day. I think this is my favourite of those. At the risk of surrounding pretentious, I like the way gates represent a barrier (between past and present?) and the reflections make the new building look transient, ephemeral - as it all but merges with the sky and we "see right through it"

  6. Well, Richard...you do sound a bit pretentious, but actually that is what I feel when I'm up on the Great West Rd. It's very solid and agressive, but there's a strong snese of tempus fugit oozing out of those art deco forms, the raw steel of the M4 supports overhead (always under repair) the Grand Union and all the rest....so, yeah! go on being pretentious.

  7. Ah, Richard,

    Nice bit of frame widening.

    I am seeing lots of zero emission vehicles on the streets of London so perhaps a cure is in sight - for rich countries at least.

    Some people are still not up with the knowledge though, to quote Chuck.

    I have a Latvian/Russian friend who says that all Russia can think about is building wide roads and buying even wider ICE vehicles to drive on them.