City Centre

A number of important projects were completed at the beginning of the last century paving the way for the later development of the city centre and the waterfront in Liverpool. The development of the Pier Head and the building of the Anglican Cathedral have influenced subsequent city planning schemes.

The work to fill in George?s Dock around 1900 marked the starting point in the ongoing development of the Pier Head. The dock was filled in ready for the construction of the three buildings that were to become famous landmarks on Liverpool?s waterfront. The first of these to be built was the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Offices, designed by Arnold Thornley, and completed in 1907. Construction of the Royal Liver building, the most famous of the three buildings, started in 1908 and took 3 years to complete. The building was designed by Aubrey Thomas and built from reinforced concrete using a new building technique. The Cunard Offices were built during the First World War.


At the same time as these stunning new buildings were being erected at the Pier Head, work had begun on the other side of the city on one of the most ambitious building projects of the 20th century ? the construction of Liverpool?s Anglican Cathedral.

A competition to find an architect for the Cathedral was held in 1885 after Liverpool received city status in 1880. However, the designs of the winning architect were rejected by the city. A second competition was held in 1902 and this time the winning architect?s plans were accepted. The architect was Giles Gilbert Scott who was only 22 years old when he won the competition. It was not until 1904 that St. James?s Mount was chosen as the site for the Cathedral and building work began. A grand
ceremony was held to lay the foundation stone for the Cathedral on 19th July 1904. King Edward VII helped guide the huge block of red sandstone into place watched by thousands of people who had turned out for the historic occasion. Construction of Liverpool?s Anglican Cathedral, the world?s largest non-Roman Catholic Cathedral, was completed in 1978.