By Fred Gray
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Additional resources for Designing the Seaside: Architecture, Society and Nature
The overcrowded seaside viewed by a 19th-century Punch cartoonist. ‘The Sands, Ramsgate’, from Twelve Views of Ramsgate (London, c. 1850s), showing the railway station situated by the beach. The invasion of the seaside by working-class people also took place in North America. ’19 Coney Island became the iconic early twentieth-century amusement resort and the site of a new built form for pleasure and entertainment, the fixed amusement fair. Copied in many large working-class resorts on both sides of the Atlantic, amusement fairs were usually on or close to the seafront and, in the case of the American and British amusement piers, even built above the sea.
The bather as a passive recipient of a medical prescription was transformed into the swimmer as an active participant enjoying nature. 40 From the late nineteenth century and in response to changing attitudes to nature, there were also significant changes in how holidaymakers dressed and behaved on the beach. Although there Such manoeuvrings were a prelude to other significant developments. From the late nineteenth century the sun emerged first as an accompaniment to sea air and then, by the 1930s, as the dominant natural force shaping what people searched for, did and built at the seaside.
Usually it refers to the practice . . ’52 The cult of the sun had concrete results for the design of the seaside in Britain and elsewhere in Europe. A new seaside architecture developed that included sun terraces, The distractions of the beach. c. 1930. N AT U R E A N D S E A S I D E A R C H I T E C T U R E 33 communal beach bathing stations, solariums, holiday camps and beach huts. Seafronts were remade with new parks and gardens designed for pleasure, sport and children in mind. Most iconic of all, the inter-war open-air lido reflected both the coming of the sun and the flowering of swimming.