If you are interested in the Buildings of Birmingham then the Pevsner Architectural Guide to Birmingham by Andy Foster is THE book you need.
I’ve already bought two – one to give to a friend. I sometimes wish I’d bought a third: one for friend, one for the house and one for the glove compartment of the car. In fact come to think of it it would also make a perfect companion for bus journeys and is ideal for cyclists because is is almost pocket sized.
Why so effusive? It’s simply because it’s comprehensive. It tells you just enough about all of the cities interesting buildings. If you’re standing by something of merit Andy Foster – with some help from George Demodwowicz, Ian Dungavell, Oliver Fairclough and Elain harwood – will have written about it.
The publishers description is
English Baroque cathedral, the pioneering Neo-Roman town hall, and the mighty and still controversial Central Library of the 1970s. Streets of rich and varied Victorian and Edwardian architecture bear witness to the era when Birmingham’s civic initiatives were the admiration of the country. More recently, the city has been rejuvenated with new architecture on a giant scale: the iconoclastic Selfridges, and the canalside precinct of Brindleyplace, where modernism and Classical Revival are excitingly juxtaposed. Outer districts and suburbs of extraordinary variety are explored in a series of tours. The famous Jewellery Quarter is a treasure-trove of quirky and resourceful historic buildings of every size and style. Stucco villas to match any in England can be found in Edgbaston, which also boasts educational buildings of outstanding quality. Cadburys’ celebrated Garden Suburb at Bournville combines enlightened architecture with picturesque charm. A connecting theme is provided by the local Arts and Crafts school, which flourished well into the twentieth century. A narrative introduction sets the buildings in context. Birmingham and Leeds are the latest volumes in the acclaimed Pevsner City Guide series. Illustrated in colour throughout, including many specially-taken photographs, historical images, and numerous maps, they are both essential works of reference and indispensable visitors’ companions.
Chris Upton’s review included “…indispensable… Comprehensive…and beautifully illustrated… I find myself dipping in it all the time.”
You can usually pick one up for less than £10. I already have done just that, twice. Go on – you know you want to!