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REVEALED: Is this how Lime Street will look?

Vision for city gateway erases Futurist and Scala for student flats. But show goes on for ABC

Written by . Published on January 6th 2015.


REVEALED: Is this how Lime Street will look?
 

IT IS regarded as one of the city centre’s grot spots, Lime Street, with its decaying buildings and cinemas.

Liverpool developers Neptune have now produced images to show their vision of the future.
 
The two big pubs that act as bookends will stay, and so will an old terrace of shops next to the Crown.
 
It will be curtains for the old Futurist and its one-time cinematic neighbour, the Scala, to make way for a new development of guess what, student flats. Yes, there will be retail and hotel elements to the scheme.
 
But campaigners pleading for the restoration of the ornate Futurist must be fuming at the thought of a once fabulous theatre of dreams giving way to yet more student flats.

JI_Limest_Montage_0038[1]

The Futurist Campaign has put forward rival plans that would see the restoration of the cinema as part of the Lime Street facelift.
 
Stylish historic architecture like the Futurist helps Liverpool stand out from the crowd – caring about it asserts the city as a smart, successful and confident of our place in the world, says the campaign website. “The Futurist is one of those magical buildings that connects us all to our shared past, adding elegance and glamour to one of Liverpool’s most famous streets,” it adds.

Given the importance of Lime Street, people were expecting something stunning, rather than a carbon copy of many of the other student billets that now dominate the city centre. Even Maggie May probably wouldn’t want to wonder along Lime Street any more if this is the best we can come up with.

What is hailed as a major regeneration initiative is being undertaken on behalf of Regeneration Liverpool and, says Neptune, involves the clearance of a series of run down buildings in this important City Centre street and the development of a high quality scheme with retail hotel and student accommodation.
 

Abc Interior 2%281%29How the ABC interior is set to look

Across the road the old ABC cinema is destined for a new life as a music and leisure venue.
 
The arrival of multiplex cinemas made picture palaces like the ABC, the Futurist and the Scala, all redundant.
 
Neptune says the Regeneration Liverpool project involves the £9m refurbishment of the former ABC Cinema as part of our overall development proposals for the area. The project will involve the creation of a new Auditoria and Venue with associated restaurants as part of a new concept brand to be launched in 2015.
 
The old cinema is Grade II listed mainly because of its grand interior. It is described as the finest work of celebrated cinema designer William R Glenn. The building has been unused since its closure in January 1998.

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77 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Student GrantJanuary 6th 2015.

Quite apart from the destruction of well-loved façades and their replacement with ugly and crude brick blockhouses, has anyone considered the point that students pay no Council Tax so the City is getting screwed yet again, only the developer and landlord will make money on this. Lime Street will be further marginalised as a ‘no-point-in-going-there’ sort of place.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
V ChancellorJanuary 6th 2015.

There is also the point that universities are profit-making bodies.

Student GrantJanuary 6th 2015.

You can say that again!

David OwensJanuary 9th 2015.

As well as no income for the council the incomers will be placing further pressure on the already overstretched medical services within the City centre. The cleansing department, the social services and law enforcement.

Green TambourineJanuary 9th 2015.

They need to be PROPHET-MAKING!!! Then we'd know what to do

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2015.

Are you trying to get us into trouble?

Staff
Angie SammonsJanuary 6th 2015.

One idea would be to keep the Lime Street facade and relocate the city's market behind it. This would work on many levels. You would say, "well what about the market in St John's?" Well when did you last beat a path there? No, move the lot, all the market traders in the city to Lime Street and enlist the best of the rest. The vintage sellers, the ethnic traders, the antique dealers, the independents. Go have a look at the excellent offering in Birmingham's Bullring if you are stuck for inspiration. Have a look at Preston"s Guild Hall and build a similar awning. Or go to any town in mainland Europe and bring back the best of the thinking. It would be the first thing people would see, it would look good and it would bring vibrancy, and that much needed entrepreneurial strand to the city and to a street which deserves special attention. Be bold and imaginative. Lime Street needs a heartbeat.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

Yes. Great idea. Let's talk about what we can do, rather than what we can't do.

Savoury DuckJanuary 6th 2015.

I don't go into St. John's Market because I don't want to buy cheap handbags, tracksuits or P.E. pumps. Years ago it had much greater variety of stalls in there selling things that I might actually want or were useful. It is well-known that reputable Liverpool restaurants buy their fish from Ward's in Birkenhead Market.

John BradleyJanuary 7th 2015.

Angie, If you really want a small BoHo the pace for it is www.google.co.uk/search… or perhaps here www.google.co.uk/…/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1swUGUtNr0GzgXvLO65FyGug!2e0… Both are in areas more suited the Lime Street as that is the type of thing going on in the area.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2015.

"BoHo"? Isn't that foreign?

a. e. scousemanMarch 9th 2015.

St. John’s Market used to be good years ago. It had lots of different stalls selling all manner of wares – I still have a set of dinner plates I bought there in the 1980s – but these days it’s all just trackies and clown shoes - surely that is what Liverpool One is for? Compare it with Birkenhead Market, or any of the markets in Wrexham and it is obvious that St. John’s is sadly lacking in attractiveness, variety and interest.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

They look truly awful don't they. in 40 years people will look back and wonder who OK'd such monstrosities just as we look at 60's brutalism now.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
V ChancellorJanuary 6th 2015.

If they last that long

John BradleyJanuary 6th 2015.

Actually Brutalism is being looked at today with more and more respect. The alternative you propose is to come back in 40 years time and see buildings with 40 years more decay and ask why did no one do anything.

V ChancellorJanuary 6th 2015.

Er, the Anonymous isn't proposing any alternative, merely stating what will be said

John BradleyJanuary 6th 2015.

Exactly.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

Some people, such as academics, are looking at Brutalism with retrospective respect, that is true. The people who have to live with it tend to see it for the shit that it is.

Dan Blocker FlatsJanuary 6th 2015.

The architects who designed all that shite and sang its praises invariably themselves lived in Tudor manor houses or Georgian mansions.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

Neptune? These the same dudes who wrecked the Liverpool waterfront view with those three black monstrosities? Serial vandalism.

SootyJanuary 6th 2015.

wow the council and joe anderson strike again with their dodgy deals and planning applications

1 Response: Reply To This...
FL WrightJanuary 6th 2015.

The crime here is mediocrity

Du BarryJanuary 6th 2015.

"and, says Neptune, involves the clearance of a series of run down buildings in this important City Centre street" - by making it a less important street.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 7th 2015.

"Clearance of buildings" is what the Luftwaffe did, at no charge. Why are we paying anyone to bring destruction on our city centre? The emphasis ought to be on growth and development not quick profit for people who impoverish our urban landscape then charge us for the privilege.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

Neptune were responsible for those hideous black buildings on MannIsland, the ones with all the problems, you would have thought the Council would have learnt. Can't say what I really think but it is not only tennis players that get back handers. What happens when we run out of students will it be the immigrants who fill these flats?

Ronnie HughesJanuary 6th 2015.

Woeful, unimaginative, could be anywhere designs that look as if no architect was involved. Part of the brief needed to be 'Come up with a design that uses the façade of the Futurist in an imaginative and practical way'. And this could still be possible while the façade is still there.

SaladDazeJanuary 6th 2015.

Did none of the buggers go to see Bright Phoenix at the Everyman? It would seem not. And it would seem they continue to build on their reputations for humourlessness, lack of creative imagination, insensitivity, crass bad taste and money-grubbing myopia. Pound Shop Pound Shops, the lot of them.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

There really REALLY needs to be a public outcry on this. If we can stop the sale of the bombed out church we can do anything. Utter disgrace and that new crap looks like the old hospital they're about to demolish. No!

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

Do some architects just not bother looking at the surroundings of where their buildings will be situated? The design is boring but there's no coherence at all with the other buildings in the street. It's as if Wernham Hogg has been picked up and dropped in City centre Liverpool.

1 Response: Reply To This...
I. SoreJanuary 6th 2015.

After all the unanimous self-congratulation over the demolition of "ugly" Concourse House in Lime Street - they want to build THIS? It beggars belief.

Mad MitchJanuary 6th 2015.

Survived the blitz but not the city's own destroy ethos other cities incorporate build fronts into new builds here flatten the lot

Pamela SmithJanuary 6th 2015.

Please write to you local councillor on line takes two minutes and maybe the developers will employ someone with a brain to design something aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the rest of Lime Street

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

One should be very careful when asking student accommodation developers to keep facades. The result, as Oliver Wainwright puts it, is the hideous 'facadectomies'. www.theguardian.com/…/new-years-resolution-architects-2015-smart-cities-poor-doors… www.theguardian.com/…/carbuncle-cup-student-housing-problems…

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

One should be very careful when asking student accommodation developers to keep facades. The result, as Oliver Wainwright puts it, is the hideous 'facadectomies'. www.theguardian.com/…/new-years-resolution-architects-2015-smart-cities-poor-doors… www.theguardian.com/…/carbuncle-cup-student-housing-problems…

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

One should be very careful when asking student accommodation developers to keep facades. The result, as Oliver Wainwright puts it, is the hideous 'facadectomies'.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

Bet you'very been itching to post that since new year, but once was fine

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2015.

Dreadful, truly dreadful. Council, architect and developers should all be ashamed. Lime Street, and Liverpool, deserves so much better.

Noel GordonJanuary 6th 2015.

The ornate façade of the Futurist would make a beautiful frontage for a hotel, particularly one of the 'boutique' variety. To build it from scratch would be unaffordable, even if you could find an architect capable of designing it. Just don't allow the developers who destroyed Sir Thomas Street anywhere near it.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Rach ManismJanuary 6th 2015.

Regarding The Guardian link above, it is not only students who can be packed into cramped battery farms and mercilessly milked for profit. Thanks to the current ‘coalition’ government’s changes to the benefits system, single persons under 35 don’t qualify for Housing Benefit for a proper flat or bedsit; landlords have found that they can buy an old pub or faded B&B cheaply, subdivide it into many cramped cell-like “bedrooms”, chuck in a token bathroom and kitchen for everyone to have to share and cram it with desperate people on social security – a very profitable wheeze. Not much fun for the neighbours because proper hostels for the homeless and desperate are supervised by qualified staff. These profitable cash-cows for landlords are not.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Student Deb(t)January 6th 2015.

So they SAY they are being built for students, but don't be surprised when they become concentration camps for the poor. After all, any student with a brain gets out of halls as quickly as they can.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2015.

This Government's policy seems to be to bring back the 1930s doss-house.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2015.

Across the city Neptune has, according to the city’s official mouthpiece for quangos and favourite developers, started work on another scheme in a sensitive site. They are building flats in a most ugly development directly opposite the stunning Wapping Warehouse and next door to the Baltic Fleet. You would never image this is a World Heritage City, prized for its stunning architecture. But as the ‘mouthpiece’ states: Neptune, which already has a strong track record for delivering projects in Merseyside, has started work on the (Baltic) site. Judge for yourself whether this is worthy of a critical site. I just wish causing actual physical harm to our city was a criminal offence.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 7th 2015.

Well they did a good job on transforming another rundown relic, anyone been to New Brighton recently? Many of the tooth-sucking nay sayers on here would have stopped that happening on the basis that some derelict buildings that nobody wanted had to stay in a state of ongoing decay. I agree that the image looks uninspiring, but let's not decry all change as a kneejerk reaction, the state of Lime St now is hardly a showpiece and something needs to be done

FL WrightJanuary 7th 2015.

I see, so you are a tooth-sucking naysayer if you object to visitors and investors being confronted by shitty, half-arsed architecture and student flats the moment they step off the train. Nobody thinks Lime Street should be allowed to rot and fall down (unless this is a double bluff). Either keep the facades and do something interesting behind them or put up a new building that has some empathy and flair befitting the street's location and history. New Brighton was and is a completely different proposition.

AngryJanuary 7th 2015.

Of course change is inevitable but it should be change for the better. Improvement. Progress. Growth. Knocking down craftsmen-made buildings and throwing up crude sheds and tower blocks that offer no amenity to the environment, are ugly and especially if bits fall off when the wind blows, are NOT progress. They are GOING BACKWARDS.

John BradleyJanuary 7th 2015.

Angry lives in a dream world where all the buildings of the past where built to the highest standards by time served crafts men. They weren't a lot where knocked up as cheaply as possible, and I suspect the Futurist was no different. When Oriel Champers was built Angry's great granddad opposed that. Angry isn't for going anywhere just sitting next to an increasing decrepit building saying not good enough to every scheme.

King SparadeMarch 9th 2015.

Yes anonymous, I’ve been to New Brighton recently and have you seen the reality of the ‘lido’ that had promised by the developers? The building is used to house a gym because they couldn’t find anyone who could run it as a proper seaside attraction: the centre of the development is a Morrisons supermarket and a Home & Bargain! Worst of all is the promised outdoor swimming pool, the most important part of a lido (particularly one that was supposed to replace the famous art deco outdoor baths that were closed and demolished). It is laughably tiny, little more than a paddling pool and has only ever had rainwater in it because it is of use to no-one. The last idea to use it involved filling it with plastic balls to make an outdoor ‘ball-pool’; even this idea has been dropped. I dare say that the developer was paid in full from the public purse to create this expensive and useless white elephant. And just look at who the developer was – er – Neptune! www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/…/new-brighton-marine-point-regeneration-3384203…

Ramsey CampbellJanuary 7th 2015.

Why should you suspect that the Futurist was "knocked up as cheaply as possible"? It certainly never gave that impression in the decades when I was a customer. Here's a little background: cinematreasures.org/…/6508…

10 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 7th 2015.

Why should you suspect that it wasn't, no company spends more on a building than it has to. Making a building look as good as possible for as little as possible is one of the tricks of architects/interior designers, and one you seem to have fall for hook line and sinker. I have been a patron of the Futurist myself. I did note one line in the article you linked to "Dummy boxes with a riotous pediment", stage dressing.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2015.

That's called 'design' Bradders old lad. The Georgian speculative houses were thrown up as cheaply as possible, often the mortar between the bricks was eked out with cinders from fireplaces to save money. The thing is that they are still standing and serviceable after 200 years as well as being desirable residences. Whereas the Mann Island black coffins and the Unity Building started falling apart in a wind after only 5 years.

John BradleyJanuary 7th 2015.

Hilarious, Georgian buildings where notorious for falling down just after the where built and by falling down I mean collapsing completely. What you comment really shows is the cloud cuckoo land you live in.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2015.

Yes, it's called Canning Street and it is all still standing.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2015.

And it will most likely still be standing long after the show-off eyesores you so admire have fallen down, blown away or had to be demolished for public safety. Of course the City Council could resume its 1960s madness of spending enormous amounts of money demolishing 150 year-old solid Georgian houses simply because Brutalism was the fashion.

John BradleyJanuary 7th 2015.

In 200 years time some of the buildings you hate will still be standing, which by your reasoning will show that they where all great and well built and non had any initial problems.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2015.

Stumps of them might be lying at the sides of the road. Steel reinforced concrete has a limited lifespan as the steel corrodes. Also there's more profit to be made in built-in obsolescence.

John BradleyJanuary 7th 2015.

Again your mistaking you ill informed fantasy world for reality. The design life of modern concrete structures is 1000 years. You need to stop taking a fact and then embellishing it with your fantasies.

John BradleyJanuary 7th 2015.

That the concrete parts BTW not the rest of the building. You really should stop blowing your own trumpet, it makes a farting sound.

je suis bellend bradleyJanuary 9th 2015.

Alors!

Johnbradleys mumJanuary 8th 2015.

John your tea's ready get off that computor

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

Surely a bijou incorporated cinema/art space/bar would be a huge selling point for a block of otherwise bog standard student accommodation. Could the futurist not fulfil that purpose or is it all about maximum numbers of heads on beds for these guys?

1 Response: Reply To This...
bazJanuary 9th 2015.

agree.

Green TambourineJanuary 8th 2015.

Where are the TREES??? Lime Street needs TREES!!!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 8th 2015.

Oh do Fuck off, please, we're tired of you now

FL WrightJanuary 9th 2015.

Well said, Green Tambourine

bazJanuary 9th 2015.

Bellend Bradley you fucking toolpipe! How many visitors to Liverpool want to see faceless boxes crammed with tax-dodging students? That is unless the boxes are being lashed in the Mersey.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJanuary 9th 2015.

You think they are going to come to watch you and your mates standing on the street corner, feeling you own bollock in you tracky bottoms.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2015.

No John, no! You know what happens when you start with those homo-erotic fantasies, go and have a walk and some cocoa

SaladDazeJanuary 9th 2015.

When was this column syndicated in Private Eye? It's From The Message Boards or my name's not Grin Broadly.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 9th 2015.

It all started here when sid bonkers tried to appear all knowledgeable, but as usual, got it wrong www.liverpoolconfidential.co.uk/…/Jolly-Roger-Sefton-Park-Liverpool…

MIke GigglerJanuary 9th 2015.

Cool messages guys!

G RaffertyJanuary 13th 2015.

horrific. is this the best we can do? to one of our historic victorian streets? the best we can do is to keep 2 pubs open & bollocks everything else up? not a good message

Student GrantJanuary 16th 2015.

Perhaps the practice of farming students for big profits by landlords is about to come off the rails? www.theguardian.com/…/students-demand-end-to-rents-that-swallow-up-95-of-their-loans… The landlords will have to start filling their new slums with benefit claimant to keep the cash rolling in!

Rex ComehereboyMarch 9th 2015.

In fairness, this is now plan B, Joe Anderson isn't happy with plan A, nor will he be until he has exhausted the alphabet. Then and only then, will it be kicked in to the long grass (if there's any left), and forgotten about. Then you will be able to read all about it in the Liverpool Echo on Joe's regular letters page.

Liverpool Lime StreetMarch 9th 2015.

What makes Lime Street a "grot spot" is the neglect, not the buildings. Incentives for small businesses will bring back the shops and the Council's wardens (formerly 'Storey's secret police') can drive off the drunks and the aggressive beggars. It is a major thoroughfare and prominent in the mythology of Liverpool, both in song and story. Put the doss-houses somewhere else. Such as on that 'under-used' wasteland in Liverpool 8 created by short-sighted Council policies of demolition. It will revive the communities and bring local amenities back to the inner suburbs.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Topo'staniMarch 9th 2015.

That's out of order, what has Liverpool 8 done to warrant doss houses ?

Topo'staniMarch 9th 2015.

Just remind me, what's an inner suburb ? I must of been sagging from Windsor St, when they done that one.

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