Having had a questioning but in the end celebratory look at St Georges Hall a few weeks ago, today Sarah and I have come for a sceptical look at another of Liverpool’s architectural gems, the Albert Dock.
Now before we start can I just say I do appreciate it. I’m glad it’s still here. In some ways its renovation in the mid 1980s was the one of the beginnings of a revived Liverpool. Before then I’d grown up barely aware it still existed. And I completely exempt the International Slavery Museum from everything I’m about to say. But beyond that, what exactly is the Albert Dock for?
We cross on the handsome bridge that now so successfully links the Dock to Liverpool One.
Well done Jesse Hartley and everyone who built it and got it opened in 1845.
They didn’t stay too long mind and these days it’s empty I believe. I did hear it was to be a new home for the Slavery Museum but austerity politics has stopped that.
Oh I forgot, those ugly black constructions are still there.
Being a cut out piece, the Tate have thoughtfully provided materials nearby.
The exhibition’s free to get into and it’s on until May. Due to it’s fragility this is apparently going to be the last time L’Escargot is exhibited outside of London.
A pay per minute coffee house, where the drinks and snacks are free but you pay 8 pence for each minute you’re in here. Clearly aimed at people who want somewhere to come and work, in fact they themselves call it ‘a social coworking space’. So a good idea, yes. Not sure I’d have set it up in the Albert Dock though where the passing trade are mostly tourists? But good luck to it.
Will probably be replaced by more tourist tat though. It’s only that and café bars seem to do enough business to prosper down here.
So maybe decent cafés, lovely views for looking at while you have a drink, plus the Tate and the Slavery Museum should be enough? Certainly better than the Dock being filled in and used for a 44 storey skyscraper (this really was thought about at one stage).
But we didn’t actually stop for a drink or go anywhere here to eat. We went up Bold Street, where the choice is better and, frankly, where we feel more at home.