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UK LEC Park International Hotel, Leicester - August 2015

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History

The site on which the Park International Hotel now sits on was originally occupied by a footwear warehouse, for Freeman Hardy & Willis Ltd. The site, like others across the city, also included lodgings for the company director and caretaker. By 1940, however, the warehouse had been completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe, after one of the heaviest bombing raids Leicester would ever experience during the war. Since much of the city was damaged in the aftermath, and more important redevelopment projects took priority, the site remained an abandoned wasteland up until 1955. The area was purchased and cleared of debris, although it wasn’t until the early 1970s that the main tower would appear on the city’s horizon. Like others at the time, such as Hallam Towers in Sheffield, the new property was designed to be a modern development that paid tribute to an era of prosperity. Nonetheless, as with most hotels, it changed hands several times throughout its lifetime and each time it was renamed accordingly. It is estimated that it remained as the Park International Hotel for the longest period of time.

Over the years the hotel was a popular venue and it attracted many guests from other parts of the country. It was perhaps for this reason why the lower levels of the hotel were used to house the Leicester Exhibition Centre from the 1980s onward. The building finally closed down in 2009 owing to its declining reputation and inadequate structural integrity. During the 2000s there were several incidents where concrete had fallen from the structure onto the street below. Despite plans to repair the decaying premises, so that it could perhaps be converted into residential or student accommodation, no plans were ever approved. As the building has stood in a dilapidated state for many years, it has become too dangerous for property redevelopers to enter. Future plans now involve demolishing the site, to make way for new innovative city projects.

Our Version of Events

With only a few hours before Punk had to retire for the night *curfew – cough*, we decided that we’d still have time for a quick raid on the old Park International Hotel site. We’d heard rumours that access was particularly interesting so it caught our attention almost instantly. We’d also been itching to see Leicester from somewhere high. On the whole access wasn’t particularly difficult, but it was definitely entertaining. Inside, the hotel is absolutely fucked, so that was a little disappointing. Nevertheless, the rooftop view from the tower didn’t disappoint at all. From up there we could see for miles; it was just a shame we weren’t able to see it with all the lights switched on.

Explored with Ford Mayhem, KM_Punk and Soul.

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WOW that is fucked inside isn't it. Nice to see the city you live in from a different angle. You should try and get up the tower block next door ;-)

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WOW that is fucked inside isn't it. Nice to see the city you live in from a different angle. You should try and get up the tower block next door ;-)

Cheers guys. Yeah, the inside wasn't particularly interesting - just thought I'd give a quick sample of its delights. Was pleased with some of the rooftop shots though. Haha, when I return to Leicester, I'm sure it'll be on the list.

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You worked that really well from the roof and good to see :thumb

As for [MENTION=1797]KM Punk[/MENTION] on a curfew :P

First time I've seen Leicester from up above, so it was good to see.

Haha, was that suggestion about Punk not subtle :P

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