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Old April 5th, 2005, 11:29 PM   #1
Blabbernsmoke
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What might have been...

Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but there are too many damned threads to look through with a crappy dial-up connection. I happened upon this about a year ago but forgot about it- original plans for the Catholic cathedral that would have been 190ft taller than the Anglican cathedral (520 feet tall)!!!!!!!!!! Check it out.



Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) was commissioned to design a Cathedral to contrast with the Gothic gem of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott which was rising at the other end of Hope Street, where building had started in 1904. The central feature of his design, he decided, was to be a great dome 168 feet (51 meters) in diameter with an internal height of 300 feet (91 meters). The nave and aisles would consist of a series of barrel vaults running at right angles to each other. The High Altar would be twelve feet (4 meters) above the nave floor and a total of 53 altars would line the nave and transept, apses and sacristies. The height from the lowest step of the Western front to the top of the lantern would be a colossal 520 feet (158 meters). (By comparison, the tower of the Anglican Cathedral rises to 330 feet ( 101 meters)).

Inside the West Porch would be the narthex - 'a great space', wrote Lutyens, 'which it is proposed shall be open by day and by night, without let or hindrance, and kept warm - a spiritual sanctuary for those cold and destitute.' He might have added that it would be a link with the purpose of the site in the past. Building of the Crypt went on apace until 1941 when the war years brought the cessation of building, but the fund happily consolidated. In 36 years it had risen to £934,786 of which a little less than half had been expended. After the war the Crypt was completed and remains part of the present Cathedral, a magnificent fragment of what might have been. But the grandiose romanesque super-structure, whose main entrance arch could have contained the nearby University's tower, was now costed at an impossible £27 million. Once again the dream was threatened.

http://www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.o...ry/history.htm
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Old April 5th, 2005, 11:38 PM   #2
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Indeed, it could have been great. Imagine those two magnificent Cathedrals at either end of Hope Street!!

However, the cathedral we ended up with isn't that bad though! Some people dont like the Metropolitan Cathedral, but I do.
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Old April 5th, 2005, 11:41 PM   #3
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Yes, I too love the Met Cathedral- I think it is the finest piece of concrete/postmodern architecture in England. Looks great with the new steps outside.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 12:57 AM   #4
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Bloody WW2, drained the manpower and finances for this Luytens Cathedral, and some great buildings we would still have now otherwise. At least there is plenty of empty sites for some new stuff to fill the gaps.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 01:01 AM   #5
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Yeah, that's what annoys me when people seem to celebrate WW2 so much- it was such a terrible, wasteful event. As well as the human lives lost, capital that had been built up over many centuries was just wiped out. Liverpool suffered very badly- not only stuff that was destroyed (the old Post Office springs to mind), but funds ear marked for new stuff was taken away.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 01:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blabbernsmoke
Yes, I too love the Met Cathedral- I think it is the finest piece of concrete/postmodern architecture in England. Looks great with the new steps outside.
Took a few pics last year to promote the new steps. Here's my fave:
[IMG]http://www.**************************/development/met.jpg[/IMG]
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Old April 6th, 2005, 01:16 AM   #7
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This building seems to be getting better with age.
The top of the crypt this building stands on should be landscaped and utilised more as an open space for people to use.

Last edited by JUXTAPOL; April 6th, 2005 at 01:35 AM.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 01:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blabbernsmoke
Yeah, that's what annoys me when people seem to celebrate WW2 so much- it was such a terrible, wasteful event. As well as the human lives lost, capital that had been built up over many centuries was just wiped out. Liverpool suffered very badly- not only stuff that was destroyed (the old Post Office springs to mind), but funds ear marked for new stuff was taken away.
Apart from fighting for democracy, freedom of speech, human rights, equal opportunities blah blah blah, what in your opinion made WW2 a "wasteful event"
Heil Blabb
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Old April 6th, 2005, 10:30 AM   #9
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It is indeed intriguing to imagine what Hope Street and Mount Pleasant would have looked like had Lutyens' cathedral been continued. However, I can't help thinking that such was its scale, it may only have been about half built by now.

Does anyone have any facts or figures about how long that building would have taken to construct? After all, the Anglican cathedral took 75 years or thereabouts.

Also, I've always intended to go down into the Lutyens crypt but have never got round to it. Has anyone on this board taken a look down there?
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Old April 6th, 2005, 10:31 AM   #10
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Also, somewhere in Liverpool there is a huge scale model of Lutyens' cathedral, but I'm not aware that it's on public display. Anyone know where it's kept?
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Old April 6th, 2005, 10:44 AM   #11
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They have bits of it in the Conservation Centre, but it used to float between the Walker and the Met Cathedral. Not sure where it is now- have you tried Mike Storey's attic?
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Old April 6th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #12
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I think I might have, I know the old basement cafe was very modern, but I seem to remember seeing a small brick chapel in the basement which I think is part of the original design. On the oustide, one side (not the Hope Street one) of the plaza and outside walls look like the foundations of the original, I think......I am beginning to realise its a LONG time since I had a good look around the outside of the cathedral, so maybe someone with better knowledge will be able to say.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #13
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Get yerself the beer festival tickets in November. It's held annually in the Crypt. Interesting place.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 12:30 PM   #14
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Don't know if anyone has looked stuff up on the British Pathe newsreel site before, but you can find some very fascinating footage of the Lutyens cathedral being built back in the thirties. Actually, you can find fascinating footage of all kinds of things, so I'll leave it up to you to choose what you search for...

http://www.britishpathe.com/
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Old April 6th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon
Don't know if anyone has looked stuff up on the British Pathe newsreel site before, but you can find some very fascinating footage of the Lutyens cathedral being built back in the thirties. Actually, you can find fascinating footage of all kinds of things, so I'll leave it up to you to choose what you search for...

http://www.britishpathe.com/
FFS Damon! This is one excellent site for old Liverpool stuff. Thanks
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Old April 6th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #16
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No worries Dave - think I'll post that link in the Liverpool thread too.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 12:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon
No worries Dave - think I'll post that link in the Liverpool thread too.
Go forth and multiply matey
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Old April 6th, 2005, 08:50 PM   #18
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Dave, another super-duper pic- you should be a free lance photographer or something.

Also, I didn't mean to suggest that WW2 wasn't necessary from Britain's point of view, or that the defeat of facism wasn't a good thing. It's just a shame the whole thing had to happen- it screwed things up a lot even for us 'vicotors.'
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Old April 6th, 2005, 08:53 PM   #19
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[img]http://www.**************************/development/met.jpg[/img]

Many happy memories of visiting that Church. My favourite building in Scouse. It's criminal it's not pimped up to the level of the Graces.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 08:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blabbernsmoke
Dave, another super-duper pic- you should be a free lance photographer or something.

Also, I didn't mean to suggest that WW2 wasn't necessary from Britain's point of view, or that the defeat of facism wasn't a good thing. It's just a shame the whole thing had to happen- it screwed things up a lot even for us 'vicotors.'
Sorry Blab, just read what I wrote and it was never meant to sound so serious. I was attempting to be flippant/jokey
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