I personally feel slightly privileged in a way to be working and living in Liverpool. The reason is simple, the architecture.
Everyday from the minute I arrive at James Street station, my eyes are treated to view and appreciate a wide variety of architectural styles and their rich tapestry of history. This city and the buildings that inhabit it are just bursting with stories of the days gone by, the people, the bygone industries and fortunes made. The newer buildings also inform us of the direction we are moving towards as a region.
And these stories im talking about arent just small nuggets and tit-bits of history, they are massive dollops. Some of the buildings, people and industries in Liverpool were influential in shaping the entire country as in the 19th century, 40% of the worlds commercial trade passed through Liverpool. If you missed that, I said the WORLDS trade, not just the UK’s.
Just walking around some of the city centre streets – James, Dale, Victoria , Water etc, the sheer size, scale and monumentality of some of these buildings are ridiculous, the likes of which are rarely built these days – the Stanley Tobacco Warehouse still remaining the worlds largest ever built brick warehouse. But with such scale and size comes an issue for the modern society – who will / can occupy such vast floor areas? The answer is not many companies and especially not in a recession.
The result is that these beautiful buildings built by our forefathers (who inevitably thought the bubble would never burst), are now empty and vacant, awaiting the tenants who never come.
A new project by PLACED wants to raise awareness of these buildings and give residents and young people the opportunity to think about and put forward ideas on how these buildings could be brought back to life with long-term sustainable solutions.
Pop-up events, walks and tours are all planned to get the public and students involved in rediscovering our ‘hidden Liverpool’. If you know of a building that is now left to ruin, derelict or forgotten, get in touch, take a photo, share your stories and help us raise awareness.