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Thread: When a garden is not a garden

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Default When a garden is not a garden


    Caryl Gardens, 1975

    Myrtle Gardens, 1977


    Sir Thomas White Gardens, 1973

    I have always been somewhat bemused by the habit of naming Liverpool’s inter-War tenement blocks ‘Gardens’. A less appropriate word would be hard to find for those rather austere blocks. They do have their champions, amongst them architectural writer Owen Hatherley, whose recent book A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, examines the legacy of the architecture and urban regeneration of New Labour. Travelling through Britain, he ends up in Liverpool where he compares the bungalow mentality of the Militant regime to the 1930s schemes designed by Sir Lancelot Keay, Liverpool’s City Architect and one of the leading planners in the country.
    Hatherley complains that the great vision and confidence that took Hamburg, Vienna, Berlin and Rotterdam as its influences to create monumental architecture for the working classes had been reduced to uninspired suburban architecture that had been transplanted into key city centre sites. (Not just Militant – the last tenements were demolished in 2001 in Old Swan to make way for a Tesco store). The issues are never straightforward. Liverpool’s rapidly declining population had precipitated a rethink on housing requirements and the tenements were no longer popular with tenants (indeed I remember filming deliberately burnt out flats in blocks off Park Road where tenants were hoping to be rehoused in the new houses that were being built). Grand architectural statements are one thing – the wishes of the public are another, although it is constantly disappointing why small scale public housing is usually so drab and uninspiring. To quote Hatherley: “It leads to depressing juxtapositions – as at the point where the grand sweep of the major surviving thirties tenement block, St Andrew’s Gardens meets a piddling close of nineties semis, with the Metropolitan Cathedral in the background. The scale is preposterous, with the houses seeming to desperately want to be somewhere less dramatic ..”

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    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
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    Is that an Austin A40 I see before me?

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    Senior Member M6AJJ's Avatar
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    No, that's a Cortina Estate!!

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Great pics Colin, you come up trumps once again.

    There are a number of tenement blocks still in existance.

    Wavertree Gardens are now private apartments called Abbeygate.
    Nelson street tennies with a glass panelled lift are still thriving in china town.
    Acorn apartments make up part of Sussex Gardens off Upper Warwick street.
    Blackhorse lane houses an angled block and nearby there are blocks on Muirehead Avenue and Adshead Road.
    Also part of Portland Gardens now houses a sheltered accommodation.
    Great Richmond street blocks were sold to a private investor and they are now St Annes apartments.
    Part of Mytrtle Gardens still exist, Barretts having renamed them Minster Court.
    There may even be one or two more that have slipped my mind for now.
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    Senior Member Lizzie1's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, part of the wall around Tommy White gardens is still there.

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Yes, the lower sandstone wall on Pentose street is actually part of the former St. Domingo house which preceded Tommy Whites.
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    Senior Member Lizzie1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Yes, the lower sandstone wall on Pentose street is actually part of the former St. Domingo house which preceded Tommy Whites.
    they don't make 'em like that anymore!

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Notice in the Myrtle Gardens photo, the lift shaft brickwork is of a different colour. That's because all tenement lift shafts were only added in 1950 after a directive from central government. The 5 storey height was a Government policy in the 30s when most were built. (though I have actually seen evidence of a 6th landing where blocks were built on an incline and so the lower part's extra storey did not break the rule - seemingly)
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    Senior Member GeorgePorgie's Avatar
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    they don't make 'em like that anymore!
    Such is the nature of modern day developers and architects that they cannot see beyond their nose that what was past can be brought up to date just by merely decorative external rendering to their front elavation and with a little ingenuity 2 flats could be knocked into one on one level or all levels to house larger familys.

    Imagine TW's painted externally in a nuetral colour....beats the sh*t out of high rise flats.

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    The reason they build from scratch is to do with not having tp pay VAT like they would when modernising. You'd think it'd be the other way round wouldn't you in order for landlords et al to kick start renovation on already exisiting stock. It is economically more viable to allow places to fall down, (sometimes helped on with mysterious fires or the chipping away of the structures) and to start again which is just nuts.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

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    Mark JMLE's Avatar
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    There's a road off Blackmoor Drive called Eaton Gardens which must harp back to something that used to be there.

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    And a pooosh sounding Summer Gardens off Westminster Road.
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    Martin hmtmaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMLE View Post
    There's a road off Blackmoor Drive called Eaton Gardens which must harp back to something that used to be there.
    Suspect it will be from Eaton House Gardens
    Started the Old Swan Website:

    http://oldswan.piczo.com/?cr=5

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    And a pooosh sounding Summer Gardens off Westminster Road.
    ..and Richmond Park, Anfield.

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    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindylou View Post
    ..and Richmond Park, Anfield.
    I don't know what lies behind the corner in Richmond Park now, but back in 1928 (yup, it's that book again) before the St. Georges RC Industrial School Athletic Ground there is/was the West Derby Union Test House.
    Just sayin'...

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