THE photograph of St Saviourgate before the construction of Stonebow House you have published a couple of times recently makes a strong case for its removal.

However, it must be pointed out that the photo was taken from a viewpoint that is certainly not the dominant one for the site, which is, in fact, the reverse.

The removal of Stonebow House would inadvertantly produced enhanced views of even less distinguished buildings, such as the BT exchange, an unattractive car park and a desolate landscape awaiting development.

Furthermore, approaching from Pavement, York residents would get a better view of another of their least favourite buildings, Hilary House.

This is not an argument for the building’s preservation, only that the area around Stonebow be thought about holistically. We must recognise that connecting St Saviourgate to a road that is not part of York’s ancient, historical street pattern would be no easy feat and that simple demolition could produce unexpected and unwelcome results.

Michael White, Anson Drive, York.


• AFTER reading John Williamson’s letter of January 3 about Stonebow House, I agree with him regarding the demolition of this eyesore and also his proposals of open space.

This could be funded by City of York Council with the money demanded from developers, myself included, to create open space on our planning approvals. It seems that this money has been absorbed into the council coffers and not used for its intended purpose. This is the time and the perfect opportunity to reclaim an eyesore that lets York down.

Paul Calpin, Calpin Developments Ltd, York.


• WHERE have all have all the men of vision and integrity gone, the people who made York the city it is now?

People such as Ferdinado Fairfax and his son Thomas, who preserved the city from destruction, in particular the Minster glass after the battle of Marston Moor in 1644.

People such as William Etty, without whose objections the walls heart of the city would be nothing but a page in history.

People such as George Hudson bringing the railways to York in 1839.

Without Seebohm Rowntree and his social reform and his influence in keeping a lot of heavy industries away from the city, we now live in a relatively clean and green city.

The people with the vision to rebuild Shambles just after the Second World War and turn it into the tourist attraction it is today.

Stonebow House, regarded as an eyesore, is as important in the time-line of the city and is as much a statement of the architecture of its time as the Minster is of its time.

And as for clearing the site and grassing it over, the council has neither inclination nor the manpower to maintain the existing green areas in the city.

DM Deamer, Penleys Grove Street, Monkgate, York.