The Titanic's Birthplace Sets Sail on Development

Our Guest Blogger, Alison Storm, is a freelance writer, a coffee drinker and a travel addict living in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband Tim and min pin, Bruno. Alison wanted to share the latest in architectural innovations with the readers at

Here's her article:

* * * *

Ninety-nine years ago Queens Island in Belfast, Northern Ireland was the world's busiest port. Every day thousands of workers showed up to the banks of the river Lagan to work jobs in the ship building industry. The area was booming with business, building the world's greatest cruise liner, The Titanic. Two huge, yellow Harland and Wolff cranes, known as Samson and Goliath, dominated the skyline. But on April 14, 1912 the Titanic fell to the bottom of the Atlantic and Northern Ireland's ship building industry went along with it.

As decades passed, Harland and Wolff shrank from 40,000 employees to just 300, leaving docks abandoned and a mile of waterfront property virtually desolate. But now, almost a century later this area is embarking on a new mission to create one of Europe's largest waterfront developments: The Titanic Quarter.

Named for the famous ship that was born here, developers do not expect this project to sink into oblivion. The Titanic Quarter is expected to create at least 20,000 new jobs over the next 15 years, according to project officials.

The two cranes, Samson and Goliath continue to dominate Belfast's skyline, but will be joined by many other buildings. The first phase of the project is expected to be complete in 2009 and includes 475 apartments, two six-story and one five-story office buildings, a 140-bed hotel and the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education. Architects have salvaged materials from old buildings and plan to incorporate them into public spaces throughout the Titanic Quarter.

The development's keystone is its history. Architects plan to preserve the slipway on which the Titanic was built. The old Harland and Wolff drawing room, once used to create the most massive ship in the world, will soon be the headquarters for what developers say is one of the most impressive waterfront developements in the world. Only this time, they're hoping to avoid any icebergs that may be in the way.

Images and source:

Alison Storm
Guest Blogger