Liverpool: World Heritage City
Text by Peter de Figueiredo, Rob Burns, John Hinchliffe, Professor Ian Wray
‘The great seaport of Liverpool has the most splendid setting of any English city’ according to Nikolaus Pevsner’s definitive The Buildings of England. Approaching the city by ferry across the River Mersey, it would be hard to deny the majesty of its architecture from its waterfront commercial buildings to its two great cathedrals perched on the ridge that runs from west to east.
In one short journey, one can grasp the achievements of the entrepreneurs, civic leaders and visionaries who built a city that became a world mercantile centre at a time when the British empire turned the globe pink.
Walk the streets and you will discover how Liverpool led the world in building techniques, in transportation and in culture. From pioneering buildings in cast-iron, the world’s first commercial railway to the musical phenomenon of The Beatles, the city has always strived to be noticed. Hard to impress Queen Victoria was certainly taken aback by the Neo-Classical St George’s Hall, which she described as ‘worthy of ancient Athens.’
That was in the nineteenth century. In 2004, Liverpool won perhaps its finest accolade when it was awarded World Heritage Site status. Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City is an astonishingly rich area of mainly nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings. This book gives a valuable insight into the history and buildings that resulted in such a prestigious honour as well as the recent developments that have helped the city reinvent itself in recent years.