Liverpool’s mercantile grandeur endures – but its architectural history is littered with compromised visions, botched projects and grand designs
Liverpool is a city of hills and vast expanses of water, of grand architectural gestures and monuments that speak to its mercantile wealth and history. It is also a city of design blunders and compromises – and of great buildings never built..
“In some cases the brief changed, in others the architect’s own ideas changed, especially in the course of a long and complicated project,” explains Joseph Sharples, co-curator of RIBA North’s Liverpool(e): Mover, Shaker, Architectural Risk-Takerexhibition and author of the Pevsner Architectural Guide to Liverpool. Some projects proved too costly and others were mere “flights of fancy” designed by architecture students, he adds.
Of the long and complicated projects, the most notable is Giles Gilbert Scott’s Anglican Cathedral, a modern Gothic edifice on a prominent site overlooking the city. Some 75 years in the making, it was only completed 18 years after Scott’s death.