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What might have been...

5994 Views 35 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  bustcapl
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.org.uk/history/history.htm
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It certainly looks a lot better now than it did when first opened. The steps leading up from Mount Pleasant originally did a 90 degree turn to avoid the old Mersey Innovations Centre which faced Hope Street. The site will also improve as the Liverpool Science Park headquarters and the Foundation Building are completed.
I've many happy memories of this Cathedral. There's a fantastic sculpture of the Risen Christ by Arthur Dooley in there. Almost got married in Paddy's Wigwam, but it was fully booked. Had to do with St Cecilia's on Green Lane :cheers:
dgnr8 said:


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.
That would have been great, just imagine how good that would have been!
scouserdave said:
I've many happy memories of this Cathedral. There's a fantastic sculpture of the Risen Christ by Arthur Dooley in there. Almost got married in Paddy's Wigwam, but it was fully booked. Had to do with St Cecilia's on Green Lane :cheers:
Wasn't the Anglican Cathedral supposed to be a lot bigger than it's current design also?
Christ (pardon the pun) but its already pretty huge!
Gazzab said:
Wasn't the Anglican Cathedral supposed to be a lot bigger than it's current design also?
I don't know that it was particularly the planned size that was revised. I do know that when Giles Gilbert Scott was selected as the architect, he was deemed so young and inexperienced (I think he was 22!) that another guy worked on the designs with him. There is a model in the cathedral that shows the original design - it was quite different as it had 2 central towers.

However, the other guy (whose name escapes me) died after only a few years and Giles Gilbert Scott completely revised the plans. Hence - one enormo-tower.
Dont think he done to bad a job myself!
Damon said:
I don't know that it was particularly the planned size that was revised. I do know that when Giles Gilbert Scott was selected as the architect, he was deemed so young and inexperienced (I think he was 22!) that another guy worked on the designs with him. There is a model in the cathedral that shows the original design - it was quite different as it had 2 central towers.

However, the other guy (whose name escapes me) died after only a few years and Giles Gilbert Scott completely revised the plans. Hence - one enormo-tower.
Good idea.

Another ceremonial approuch like the one in front would do well.
Perhaps some modernish statues lining the route?
JUXTAPOL said:
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.
I visited the Catholic Cathedral last monday and i thought it was a stunning building, the steps at the front were definately needed. The most amazing part of it is the interior though, the stained glass is simply stunning as is the height. I agree that the crypt bit at the back lets it down though.
The older architect was called Bodley and he is mainly credited with the Lady Chapel, which is much more in the Victorian Gothic Revival style than the remainder of the building. One of the problems that the builders of the cathedral had was that some of the chief patrons were Anglo-Catholic and expected a far more flamboyant style than would be expected in an Anglican cathedral.

The ground plan of the cathedral includes the thick walls necessary to support the twin towers that were never built.

The crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral I believe was only half completed and you can see where the masonry is stepped back to allow for future construction. During the war, only one man was working on it - an apprentice. I expect that if the building had been continued that the crypt would have been extended to cover the full plan area of the modern building.

If they had decided to continue with the cathedral, rather than start another one, I am sure it would be an incredibly controversial building but certainly a massive tourist attraction - much as Barcelona's Sagrada Familia which is not due for completion until the end of this century.
Damon said:
I don't know that it was particularly the planned size that was revised. I do know that when Giles Gilbert Scott was selected as the architect, he was deemed so young and inexperienced (I think he was 22!) that another guy worked on the designs with him. There is a model in the cathedral that shows the original design - it was quite different as it had 2 central towers.

However, the other guy (whose name escapes me) died after only a few years and Giles Gilbert Scott completely revised the plans. Hence - one enormo-tower.
Cheers Damon (and Martin). I thought there were originally supposed to have been two towers.
Damon said:
I don't know that it was particularly the planned size that was revised. I do know that when Giles Gilbert Scott was selected as the architect, he was deemed so young and inexperienced (I think he was 22!) that another guy worked on the designs with him. There is a model in the cathedral that shows the original design - it was quite different as it had 2 central towers.

However, the other guy (whose name escapes me) died after only a few years and Giles Gilbert Scott completely revised the plans. Hence - one enormo-tower.
Cheers Martin. In fact, wasn't Giles Gilbert Scott himself a Catholic - which led to some significant controversy when he was selected to design the Anglican cathedral!
Martin S said:
One of the problems that the builders of the cathedral had was that some of the chief patrons were Anglo-Catholic and expected a far more flamboyant style than would be expected in an Anglican cathedral.
That was actually the main reason they got on board another architect who was church of england, after this architect died Scott just reverted back to how he wanted the cathedral to look on his own....jobs a goodun!!
Damon said:
Cheers Martin. In fact, wasn't Giles Gilbert Scott himself a Catholic - which led to some significant controversy when he was selected to design the Anglican cathedral!
Hmmm, don't want to cast aspirtions on those no longer with us, but if I'd been around at the time I might have suggested that the police look into that death a little more closely...

Scott: "Ha haaa! Now that Bodley is gone, the cathedral is mine, all mine! Nyah ha haaaaa!" <evil snicker>
new said:
after this architect died Scott just reverted back to how he wanted the cathedral to look on his own
:hahaha: :hahaha: :rofl:
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