Adam Gordon (1934-2011)
Adam became a key member of The Ipswich Society soon after it was
founded. In the early 1960s there was no planning department in the Borough
Council ('planning' was an aspect of the Borough Engineer's Department)
and in many towns like Ipswich scant respect was shown towards buildings
or whole streets deemed no longer fit for purpose. So it's not surprising
that intelligent young architects like Adam Gordon and Peter Barefoot
were distressed by what was happening and allied themselves with the
civic-minded society which they helped to promote.
Adam's regular contributions to the Society's Newsletter under the
title .Streetscene' soon became one of the first articles that members
eagerly read. He had an architect's eye for significant changes that
were taking place in Ipswich but always wrote like an observant layman
walking the streets. Adam also made his office available for producing
the Newsletters which in those days could mean assembling Roneo sheets,
sometimes scattered all over the office in Silent Street!
The Society in the 1960s and 70s also undertook some hands-on improvement
projects such as the installation of the sarsen stones and river bank
tidying near Stoke Bridge and the tree planting alongside Ranelagh Road
near the railway station. Adam was one of the principal labourers. (Photo
below shows Adam, with hammer, preparing to plant a tree. Another photo
on page 19 indicates how such trees have matured.)
A number of buildings he designed or helped to design are part of
his legacy to Ipswich. They include the Post Office sorting centre in
Commercial Road/Princes Street, the extension to Cranfield Court on
Tuddenham Road/Valley Road, and what is now the Ivry Street Medical
Practice, which was originally designed as the Oncology Department for
Anglesea Road Hospital. He became self-employed in 1986 and particularly
enjoyed working for a number of private clients.
Adam's versatility, keen intelligence, determination and quietly spoken
smiling manner will be remembered and appreciated by The Ipswich Society,
to which he contributed so much.