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Liverpool architecture under threat and under debate again

Liverpool One, by liquidindian, from Flickr

Liverpool One, by liquidindian, from Flickr

The Grade II Newsham Park Hospital building is under threat, reports the Echo, due to an increasing level of disrepair, and neglect on the part of the owners. Now councilor Steve Radford has stepped up to try to save the building, calling on the owners to take action. Comments on the Echo site reflect anger that the council is not doing enough, while also worrying that there is insufficient cash to do anything.

Newsham Park hospital began life as the Liverpool Seamen’s Orphan Institution, caring for the children of families lost at sea. The building was designed by Aigburth-born Sir Alfred Waterhouse, architect of Liverpool University’s Victoria Building and the latest Liverpool Royal Infirmiary building. The building was eventually used by the NHS, but closed in 1988 since when it has lain empty.

The building is not currently on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk register.

In other architectural news, two buildings are up for an award seen as the antithesis of the prestigious RIBA award. The new Pier Head ferry terminal, and the Grosvenor’s Liverpool One (ironically shortlisted for the RIBA award) are up for the prize.

Although quirky, the new ferry terminal is not all that bad, especially as it’s such a small building (compared to, say, the new musuem). As with any new development, Liverpudlians are rightly protective of their Three Graces, and luckily people are coming to the defence of the terminal. I really admire the Liverpool One development (with perhaps the exception of the Lego flats to the north of Chevasse Park). The place is colourful, bright, and includes a green area which so many modern cities (Swindon, I’m looking at you!) lack.

What are your thoughts on the new development, and the awards?

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