A slice of rock history and city landmark linked to 80s band Joy Division is being bulldozed to the ground with the demolition of University of Birmingham ’s Chamberlain Hall.
The student block, which has been empty for six years following its closure on safety grounds, staged the last concert by the Manchester band in May 1980 before frontman Ian Curtis’s suicide.
Now engineering and construction group Balfour Beatty has been appointed to build a new 21-storey student hall building alongside three smaller blocks in Edgbaston.
The programme of demolition will mark the end of Chamberlain Hall after more than 40 years. It is to be replaced by more than 700 new bedrooms at The Vale student village.
Its demise will rekindle student memories of rock concerts staged at the venue, then known as High Hall, when it regularly attracted big names to the campus in the 1970s and 80s.
The most famous of those concerts was on May 2, 1980 when Joy Division – who had a hit with Love Will Tear Us Apart – played for the last time. During the concert frontman Ian Curtis stumbled, and had to be helped off stage while the rest of the band played on.
Tragically Curtis was found hanged later that month on the eve of the band’s first American tour in May 1980.