After the artist’s impression received a markedly mixed reception online, how would people react to a 3D model of the new-look Clifford’s Tower?
That was the big question at a drop-in public meeting on Thursday (January 21) when the model went on display for the first time.
The proposed upgrade – revealed on Monday – includes a new visitor centre at the foot of the grassy mound.
Also in the plans are a partial timber roof to protect the ancient monument, plus a new walkway to “provide fantastic viewing and activity space at roof level”.
The drop in session, held at the National Centre for Early Music on Walmgate, had attracted a lot of interest, a spokesperson for English Heritage said.
While much of the initial response online has been less than positive, people who came to see the model were more enthusiastic, particularly about the roof and walkway she added.
Hugh Broughton, the architect who drew up the plans, described Clifford’s Tower as “an incredibly iconic beauty with such historic value”.
But he said change was needed. “We found most people have said that once they get inside the tower, they find it underwhelming.”
The controversial visitor centre is designed to reveal the tower’s 19th century wall, buried since 1935.
He agreed that the plans might be viewed as shocking – but change was needed “to ensure the long term survival of the monument”.
“We want the building to be distilled down to as little as possible: something strong and firm. It’s as simple as that,” he said.