Monday, 12 October 2009

Liverpools Heritage at Risk No 1-Royal Insurance Building Dale Street

Today we sart a series to advise the public of the "Buildings at Risk" in Liverpool. We start with the English Heritage at Risk registered Buildings and start in Dale Street 100 yards in one direction from the Town Hall and 100 yards the other The Liverpool City Municipal Buildings.
They keep telling us they have saved this building. They being the Council through its PR division, the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo.
And still it lies there as a monument to inactivity and a lack of desire to look after our cultural assets.
The hopeless Liverpool City Council buildings at risk officer Chris Griffiths, told me four years ago it was having a lot of attention put on it and the pigeon mess had been cleared up from inside. So is the roof still open? Do they CPO it? Do they take action? No that’s just what they do with ordinary citizens of the city in the Welsh streets and Anfiield. No, they let it rot.

Built 1897-1903 by the architect J. Francis. Doyle. The design was chosen from a limited design with seven entrants. The assessor was Norman Shaw who was retained in an advisory capacity. Doyle had worked with Shaw on the White Star building and was said to have been so influenced by Shaws style that he was able to refashion it. This is built of Granite and Portland Stone and was an advanced design giving a column free general office on most of the ground floor. Steve Corbett at the ineffectual conservation (sic) office knows the building well. Its campanile with an octagonal cupola, gilded dome and sundial form a prominent feature on the city's skyline.
Berni Turner Liverpool's self styled Heritage Champion is really a waste of time promises us she is looking after our assets. Its all a bluff.
This building has been on the English Heretics Buildings at Risk register for over a decade.
So while we have changed the town with cheap apartments some not even good enough to be called trashy, this gem with sculptures by C. J. Allen lays rotting. It is in the World Heritage Site.
In 2006 I warned of the risks in leaving this building while we do the easy jobs until the money ran out and the binge building stops and the banks wont lend.
Last week another hotel for Tithebarn street is announced and what of the forgotten treasures with links to our past. How many more false dawns can this building take.

Meanwhile at The Daily Ghost they have been fed again by the once October Communications now Aurora, who are Neptunes PR, a Larry Neild Hook. He used the same "Jewel in the Crown" about the Cesar Pelli, One Park Worst for Grosvenor, which came 4th in the BD Magazine National Carbuncle Cup.
Would it not be better use of a redundant building such as the Royal Insurance to house the Open Eye Gallery who are moving to Mann Island. Than to trash the world heritage site with grant aided schemes by the North Vested Interest Development Authority.