Thursday, 5 November 2009

Whats the Time-Liverpool World Heritage Vandalism O'clock

I used to be so proud of our waterfront. I used to say to people "Do you know what the biggest clock face in the country is". "Big Ben" they would reply "No the Liver Buildings". Not any more. The reason that a clock was put on the South elevation was so you could see it, so you would be able to tell the time. So that the mighty image of a cultural icon, the Liver Bird could be seen they put two of them on the top of the Building. Hey but in a city using culture as a gimmick where the editors of the local press promote penguins what would you expect. In order to promote culture you have to be a little more educated in the arts and architecture than some who are running the city appear to be. Click on the pictures of the unfolding saga of the Three Black Slugs emerging on Mann Island that funds the new museum that destroyed Manchester Docks,   and you will agree, unless you have perpetrated the damage that it is world heritage vandalism. The third and final monster has suprised even me. I thought it was going to be bad, but not quite that bad.Carbuncles-R-Us. Perhaps with the recent pressure the local press has had Larry Bartlett wheels out Peter Brown of the MCS in conjunction with Guy Butler from Grosvenor-pool telling us how Renshaw Street needs saving now that all the footfall is moved and Grosvenor are pulling the strings making sure there is no competion. Dr Peter Brown from the largely redundant Merseyside Civic Society leads the charge. But wasnt it he who said Liverpool was all the better for having the three grotesques at Mann Island.
Peter Brown, chairman of Merseyside Civic Society, personally feels that the Mann Island scheme is a good one, although other society members disagree.

“I’ve been quite happy with the way it’s been handled and the final outcome. It would have been better if there was a masterplan, but in its absence this is the best scheme.
“My view is that it complements both the new museum and the Pier Head Three Graces.
“The new Mann Island blocks are square and black, so it’s a stark contrast with the white of the sloping new Museum of Liverpool and the classicism of the Three Graces.
“I think it’s a mistake to keep a ‘fire free’ zone between Albert Dock and the Pier Head. There is a need for financial stimulation in that area and to show entrepreneurial skills.
“The scheme offered the prospect for this and the architects worked it out well. They also managed to exceed their brief and more views of the Three Graces were retained than was proposed. I appreciate that the principal view from the south is obstructed, but none of these buildings were planned as a group, nor was it expected that these views would not be built across.
“We need a modern statement to showcase the aspirations of this city.
“It’s all consistent with what was proposed.”

Did Matt Brookes the architect of Broadway Malyan building the Three Black Slugs study at the University that he teaches, Civic Design......Unsuccessfully?


  1. Mann Island is now a disgusting mess. So much for preserving views of the World Heritage site. Now, from every possible angle, there is a carbuncle obstructing views of the listed Pier Head trio. UNESCO, DCMS, English Heritage, Council planning committee, NWDA, godawful architects - all hang your heads in shame.

  2. Save glorious architecture

    IT WOULD be a crying shame if the terrace of shops in Renshaw Street, most recently colonised by Rapid Hardware, were to be torn down as part of the redevelopment of the hinterland of Central Station.

    It has kept its human scale despite being one of the main points of entry to the city centre from the South, and there is a glorious mish-mash of buildings going back to the early 19th century. There may be no grand architecture there, but the city would be the poorer for its loss.

    I see that the new owners, Grosvenor, say they are open to suggestions about what can be done with the buildings along the western side of Renshaw Street. I would suggest restoring them to a series of individual shops.

    DR Wright, Mossley Hill

    A letter posted today that was quick or was it a plant it does not say via e-mail so the post would have come before it was published in Oldham.?

  3. I am aware that Larry Neild used to do the publicity for Rapid Hardware.

  4. Ronnie de Ramper7 November 2009 at 00:14

    There's a pattern developing here - and it's not healthy. London Road has been blighted for two decades or more. Now Renshaw Street has joined the list. And don't get me started on Lime Street - I'd sooner stroll down a sewer. Presumably Church/Lord Sts will be given over to tumbleweed in the near future too.

    But we'll still have Grosvenorpool. Ah well, datz OK den!

  5. Several council members of the Merseyside Civic Society live in the Renshaw Street vicinity is this a bit of nimbyism. Trevor Skempton who is also a Civic Society council member stood arguing for the One Park Worst Development on Chavasse Lawn at the planning committee meeting on behalf of Grosvenor...The Civic Society should set itself above all critisism and vested interests.