The Changing Faces of Liverpool City Centre

The Changing Faces of Liverpool City Centre is presented by Carl Kenneally from Liverpool Record Office and forms part of the Liverpool Through the Archives series, produced for the Connecting Our Communities project…

Below, we have a selection of images highlighting how parts of Liverpool City Centre once looked, along with the year in which they were taken and captions describing each scene. Liverpool Record Office catalogue numbers are also included should you have a specific interest in one (or all) of the images featured, and wish to follow it up post-lockdown when normal service resumes.

The Changing Faces of Liverpool City Centre - Dale Street

The image shows the junction of Dale Street with Manchester Street (c. 1961) when the latter was home to an array of businesses such as Abraham Silver (tailors), Yates Wine Lodge and Hessey’s. The traffic policeman adds a distinctly period feel to the scene. The Herbert Rowse designed street lights for the tunnel approaches are visible to the left.

Catalogue Reference: 352 PSP/111/629/66

The Changing Faces of Liverpool City Centre - Dale Street

View of Dale Street looking north eastward towards William Brown Street (1966) prior to the construction of the Churchill Way flyover. This scene should be recognisable to those familiar with the area especially with the recent demolition of the aforementioned flyover. The buildings in the centre of the shot were demolished to widen the road, these are the former Red Lion public house on the corner of Fontenoy Street, Liverpool Co-operative Society and Unity House.

Catalogue Reference: 352 PSP/111/629/70

The Changing Faces of Liverpool City Centre - The Marsden Building

The Marsden Building, or Casartelli Building as it is more commonly known, on the corner of Hanover Street and Duke Street (1947). The building dates back to the 18thcentury and was home to the Italian Casartelli family’s scientific instrument manufacturing business and eventually a wine warehouse before falling into disrepair. The former grade II* building was rebuilt after years of neglect and its curved façade remains a significant landmark at the junction of two of Liverpool’s most prominent streets.

Catalogue Reference: 352 PSP/111/1047/38

The Changing Faces of Liverpool City Centre - Lord Street

View of Lord Street, looking west from North John Street (1947). Boodles the jewellers (originally Boodle and Dunthorne) began in Liverpool in 1798 and opened Boodles House in 1920 on the desirable corner of Lord Street and North John Street and remains the company’s head office to this day. Also in the shot are the Ocean Club set up by the Liverpool Seamen’s Welfare Centre and funded with voluntary contributions, mainly from ship owners. The Fifty Shilling Tailors was a men’s clothing store founded in Leeds.

Catalogue Reference: 352 PSP/111/1369/68

The Changing Faces of Liverpool City Centre - Lord Street

This image from 1948 shows the scale of bomb damage to Liverpool city centre during World War II. A whole row of Lord Street has been cleared and the Bunney’s department store is visible. The Bunney’s store on Whitechapel began in the 19thcentury and billed itself as ‘specialists in oriental goods and novelties’ and were known for their Christmas Fairs in the 1890s. The building was demolished in the late-1950s to be replaced by the Barratts / NEMS building. The NEMS offices being significant as the location of the Beatles signing a contract with Brian Epstein in 1961. This building was demolished to make way for a Forever 21 store in 2013 which has since closed down. The site in the foreground is now part of the Liverpool One development.

Catalogue Reference: 352 PSP/111/1369/70

The Changing Faces of Liverpool City Centre - Lord Street

View of Lord Street looking west (1955) with signs of postwar construction to the left of shot. The Liverpool tram system began in Liverpool in 1898 and was at its height in the mid-1940s. By the mid-1950s the trams were in decline in the city and the network was wound down with the last trams running in 1957.

Catalogue Reference: 352 PSP/111/1369/78