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Thread: Liverpool One's Lost Buildings and Structures

  1. #1
    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Smile Liverpool One's Lost Buildings and Structures

    The arrival of the 42 acre, ?1 billion Liverpool One shopping development has catapulted the city back of the shopping league tables and along with smaller retail developments around the City Centre has restored Liverpool?s reputation as one of the UK?s premier shopping destinations. In addition, the redevelopment has also brought back into use a hugely historically significant part of Liverpool City Centre that has largely remained neglected for many decades, mainly Paradise Street (named by Thomas Steers, who lived in Paradise Street, London) and Hanover Street (named after the Hanover family and is close to the Ropewalks area).

    As you walk around the area today, it?s impossible to ignore the achievements of Grosvenor and its construction partners, Balfour Beatty and Laing O'Rourke. It?s a far cry from the desolation and disregard for this area of town seen, during the last few decades.

    It was whilst walking through the Chavasse Park area in 2004 that I stumbled across a number of JCB diggers beginning the process of removing the well-trodden grass of the park in preparation for the redevelopment of the area. On closer inspection I noticed that the individuals involved in the digging were making various notes, measurements etc. I asked them the purpose of their dig and they informed me that they had recently uncovered a number of cellars that have laid beneath Chavasse Park, hidden for many years. I returned several days later to investigate what they had uncovered and couldn?t believe my eyes. With camera in-hand I began taking pictures of these cellars that had been meticulously excavated by the experts from the University. Some views were tricky to capture but a cheeky smile, polite questioning and a bit of persuasion enabled me to gain access to a number of concealed areas. It was with disbelief that I was told that these cellars were going to be filled in with concrete in preparation for a huge car park. These cellar I believe, were those belonging to one of Liverpool?s many lost buildings, Liverpool's Old Custom House.

    This building was erected on the site of Liverpool?s Old Dock and it was considered to be one of the finest buildings in Britain, sadly damaged during the Second World War and demolished by a council who refused to restore an easily-repairable building.

    Further reading and investigation in the subsequent weeks and months focussed my interests on Liverpool?s Old Dock, built in the early 1700?s by Thomas Steers who was reputed to have used the old bricks and stone from the Liverpool Castle ruins to construct the dock which was pivotal in Liverpool?s rise to become an international seaport. It became the World?s first commercial enclosed wet dock. Unfortunately, problems arose in the years that passed and with the introduction of the 1811 Liverpool Dock Act, the dock was be filled in.

    The dock has been at the centre of national attention in the run-up to 2007 and the opening of Liverpool One. It became the focus of Channel 4?s Time Team programme and is now open to the public for the first time in 200 years!

    My continued interest in this wide expanse of an area has also highlighted other significant structures that have been lost forever. Sat behind the old Customs house building at the bottom of Hanover Street at Canning Place was the Liverpool Sailors' Home, a beautiful building that was set on fire in 1860 by one of its own residents! The gates of this building can be found in Smethwick, West Midlands.


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    Word?s can?t describe the sense of loss felt when viewing these images and reading about their development at a time when the City of Liverpool was one of the world's successful commercial seaports.

    The arrival of the Liverpool Shopping area and associated developments in and around Chavasse Park and Paradise Street have ensured that this area of Liverpool is now back in full use, alive and buzzing for a modern generation and a forward thinking city albeit for leisure, shopping and retail!

    Related Links:

    The development of Liverpool?s Lost Dock and Customs House
    Liverpool One Shopping Area under construction
    Liverpool One Shopping Area completed phases
    Last edited by Kev; 01-17-2010 at 05:42 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Davec's Avatar
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    The Custom House could have housed a fine museum, although I'm glad the Maritime is at its current home.
    The use for the Sailor's Home I find a bit less obvious...as long as it wasn't for student accomodation !
    Last edited by Davec; 08-29-2009 at 11:04 AM.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Liverpool ONE

    Liverpool One is just an extension of the city centre. It is not a shopping mall as such, as the Trafford Centre is in Manchester, a building surrounded by a massive car park. Liverpool One is of no merit whatsoever. OK, but really very forgettable.

    The adjacent 1970-80s cheap brown clad buildings need re-cladding in newer brighter stay-clean cladding.

    Customs House Cellars

    The cellars, I used to walk through as a kid in the bombed ruins of the Custom House.



    The Old Dock

    Everyone I talk to when looking down the glass hole in to the remains of the Old Dock, all agree that it should have been partially excavated and boats reintroduced. Then Liverpool One would have been spectacular, with a historic dock and boats in the middle That is too easy is isn't? The same views of the Echo Arena. I have met no one personally in Liverpool who disagrees that it is an IKEA shed looking abomination and should have been built on the land side of the Queens Dock Quays. But this is Liverpool where common sense dissipates all too often. Kings Dock - How not to do it

    1 Park West

    The chamfered Cesar Pelli building was supposed to be about 7 floors higher. I agree it should have been the height it is now. Too many tall buildings on the front will block out the buildings behind and create a wall between the dock waters and city inland, as happened on the the South Bank of the Thames in places. The rectangular block next to the corner building looks like the worst of 1960s architecture, resembling a cheap Council Offices block. Not very good at all for such a location.



    Tall Buildings

    Tall buildings on the river wall are fine as the attraction is the still docks waters not the smellly at low tide river beyond with the appalling looking Wirral waterfront beyond. Read Peels blurb and it barks on about "waterfront" locations, in justification for filling in docks waterspaces. The attraction is docks water locations with buildings shielding the docks from the bitter winds coming in from Liverpool Bay, as the Albert Dock buildings do.

    Docks Road

    The Dock Rd (the only part of a misguided urban motorway plan completed) is a hindrance between the Albert Dock and Liverpool One, as noted by the New York Times. This road need removing and all merged into one pedestrianised one.
    Last edited by Waterways; 08-29-2009 at 11:17 AM.
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    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
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    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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  4. #4
    Smurf Member scouse smurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    Liverpool ONE

    Liverpool One is just an extension of the city centre. It is not a shopping mall as such, as the Trafford Centre is in Manchester, a building surrounded by a massive car park. Liverpool One is of no merit whatsoever. OK, but really very forgettable.
    I wouldn't say Liverpool One has no merit. I think the fact it's not one big shopping mall is a great as it sort of fills in the gap between central town and the albert dock, sort of bringing things more together.



    Personally, I don't really care about it much as I'm not much of a shopper, especially when it comes to fashion stuff... partly I'm too fat for the clothes and secondly I look at the prices and swear and coz every city centre shopping area I've been to is the same, same shops, same sort of layout. Gets rather boring. An area of small traditional shops would have be nice, something unique.

    I don't think the dock being reused in the middle of the shopping centre would have been a great idea either. The docks are part of our past now as good as they were for our city in the time, they wouldn't have much merit in the Liverpool of today

  5. #5
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scouse smurf View Post
    I don't think the dock being reused in the middle of the shopping centre would have been a great idea either.
    You are the only one I have heard say that. A partial excavation would have been brilliant. The mall around the water and bobbing boats in the middle.

    The docks are part of our past now as good as they were for our city in the time, they wouldn't have much merit in the Liverpool of today
    You mean in general?

    Liverpool One is just pedestrianised streets trying to join the Albert Dock to the city centre, only the Dock Rd gets in the way.
    Last edited by Waterways; 08-29-2009 at 03:49 PM.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


    Giving Liverpool a full Metro - CLICK
    Rapid-transit rail: Everton, Liverpool & Arena - CLICK

    Save Royal Iris - Sign Petition

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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Has anyone heard, when the general public will be allowed to view the old dock? I think there were some pic's on here,not so long ago,by someone who had a guest tour of the site.

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