Friday, 23 May 2014

The Wellington Rooms-Liverpool’s Disgrace.

What is the point in letting this historic building rot?
Here is a picture taken in 1989 by Jeremy Hawthorn. It was used on calendar a couple of years past that was published
 by The Nerve.

How can this building be left to rot after a billion pounds of European objective one funding has been sloshing around over recent decades?
The city in talks of regeneration while this building, and many other, lay in a state of degeneration.
It’s easy to miss its façade as you drive along Mount Pleasant.
 The Wellington Rooms in Mount Pleasant were once described as a house of mirth and revelry.
They were erected after funds were raised by public subscription in 1815
Pic as it appeared in NERVE magazine current issue 24 available from News from Nowhere Bold Street Liverpool

An Adaptation of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates of Athens, which was illustrated, in the influential publication, by Stuart and Revelt, entitled Antiquities of Athens.
It had a porch on one side for the setting down of sedan chairs. The Portico was originally open but was found to be draughty and a disfigurement to the original design was made in my opinion, with the blocking up.
A ballroom of some 80ft by 40ft it had a card room and a supper room.
It was thought to have been frequented by the upper classes, as subscription balls, assemblies and occasional fancy dress balls.

How that description conjures up the most remarkable images of Georgian Liverpool.
A Maritime City of tall masts, sundrenched sailors, rope-makers and barrow boys.
The Welly is from at the nucleus of Liverpools upward growth, from humble beginnings, of its gentrification, taking it to the city of its height in the early 20th century.
It is a
descendant of bygone age of wigs and crinoline gowns and candlesticks and taverns.
I grew up with it being known as The Irish Centre in the 70s and 80s, and ignorant of these historic facts relating the building back to the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleons defeat by the then axis powers under the leadership of the Duke of Wellington.

In 2008 I highlighted its plight in a walkabout for the then Daily Post pleading for the then Liberal Democrat council to save it.
There were then ghastly plans put forward to develop it, by sticking a Rubik cube sort of extension on the back.
The plans looked more like a sketch on the back of a jerry-builders ciggy packet than a professionals work; thankfully they were rejected amid controversy.

2008 may have turned the nations perception of my town but being European Capital of Culture was also a curse because it turned into a culture of capital feeding frenzy, where property developers are helped to do the ordinary and the more difficult has to wait to fall down
Nothing has been done to stop the rot, and it is still the same building, only the deterioration seems to have been helped, by the lead on the roof going missing. What state inside to the plasterwork and its Adams style frieze?

On the English Heritage at risk register for as long as I can remember.
It is Grade II* listed.
The area director of EH should be ashamed of the record that Liverpool has for not looking after its Georgiana.
Though asking English Heritage to protect, with this planning department that in my opinion is a law unto itself, is like asking my mouse to look after my cat.
With a ineffectual conservation office we don’t stand a chance.
Now this great city has areas such as Duke Street with its swathes of beautiful simple three storey Georgian terraces that now look alien in their own environment after modern pastiche, or inferior designed student flats have been erected.
So what chance by this council under a Labour council of turning the tide of humiliation to our Georgian stock.
There may be developers crawling over it now. But look at the mess the council made with St Andrews Church on Rodney Street, after it was reported, was offloaded by the city council for a quid to a convicted fraudster.
Yes I know we have to move on but our history is our future.
Look at the restoration of Seymour Terrace; they certainly did a good job there.

Over the road on Hope Street, they throw a £20 million grant at the demolition of the Everyman culling it, with history bleeding out of its walls. They build a replica in its place, whether that will prove successful time will tell. But once you lose your history its lost forever. This is the town that knocked the Cavern Club down.
Next to this historic gem, and with objective one funding an extension was built on Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral built by the architect Gibbard,
The Oscar Niemeyer Basilica rip off, daubed by the effervescent card carrying communist, Arthur Dooley, Paddys Wigwam, while this wonderful little Georgian gem lies there, rotting, a forlorn looking Mausoleum to itself.

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