One of the comforts of living in Liverpool to the age I am is that during my lifetime I’ve seen many of the city’s ugliest buildings get both built and demolished. The past few years have witnessed the destructions of Foster House, Steers House, Paradise Street Bus Station and multi-storey car park and the Holiday Inn next door to them. All gone, none missed.
So I know no building, however permanent it might look, will necessarily be there for very long. Therefore, and because it’s New Year and thoughts of clearing out and renewal are around, I decided I’d raise the prospect of clearing a few more. Show you a few places that, in my opinion, needn’t get too comfortable about coming to the future with us.
For my first recommendation I’m going to have to show you some more things that have already gone.
Thus revealing, as intended, the full beauty of the Station Facade?
How did they get planning permission to be built anywhere in Liverpool, never mind right outside one of the major entry points to the city? Surely these will soon be gone?
And while I’m down here:
I know it’s just wrapping up a car park but, again, is that the most creative way we can welcome new arrivals to our otherwise mostly lovely city. It’s just next to St George’s Hall after all. So trees, planting? Just a thought.
Still in town:
Obviously this is monstrously ugly in its own right.
In case you’re thinking I’ve got a thing against multi-storey car parks, well I have. I’d prefer to see better, cheaper, free even, public transport for getting us all in and out of the city centre. I remember when the Thatcher Government were winding up the County Councils the buses in Liverpool (which the County Council ran then) were free or very cheap for the final couple of weekends. The buses were full and the shops had record takings, simple.
Let’s go down to the river.
I think what we build on our waterfront really matters and have always been appalled that some of the precious space was taken up by this, and that I have to look at the thing every time I walk down Parliament Street. I’d rather look at the river.
Staying with the waterfront:
So lovely that we even used that image on our letterheads (remember them?)
Now I’m not at all opposed to new buildings. Everything you can just about see here was new within not much more than the last hundred years. But I think all new buildings need an architect, and it’s hard to spot the architectural input on some of these places I’m showing you.
(A comment on Twitter calls these Darth Vader’s Holiday Homes!)
Again, stepping back a few years:
Now I love a good canal, but this one’s being completely wasted. Is this because we’re in love with low maintenance? Or could we just not be bothered? Looked at from this angle you would never guess that this is one of the most famous waterfronts on Earth.
And the Museum of Liverpool building? No, that’s settling in now and we all love what’s inside it – the story of us lot. Though it is built the wrong way round. The café should be on the front, ‘The Waterfront’ is, after all, what the café’s called.
Along Park Road? Well at no point could I stand far enough away from this monstrosity to get it all in shot.
It dominates the whole area it’s in. You can even see the roof of it from down on Smithdown by us, a couple of miles away from it.
And, as an aside, here I am taking these photographs on New Year’s Day, and the thing’s open. Got to look after those greedy shareholders after all.
Still, let’s end on an up note.
A place full of dedicated carers and miracle workers.
Well, unlike all the other places, we know for sure this one is going. It’s replacement already begun. But by the time that opens in 2017 maybe some of these other horrors will be joining the old Royal in the scrap heap of our memories?
Happy New Year!
Above images of Concourse House from Commons Wikimedia. The rest all photographed by me. Yes, that’s the kind of thing I go round doing.