The Waterfront

The riverside location in the city centre of Liverpool has undergone many changes since I left the city in 1972, not all for the better.

To the right is the Cunard Building (1914-16) inspired by grand Italian palazzos along the waterfront in Venice. Inside are grand wood-panelled rooms, Corinthian columns and even marble-lined toilets, possibly to make the visitor feel as if they were on one of Cunard’s grand liners.

Next is the Royal Liver Building, started in 1908 and finished in 1911, it was the tallest building in Europe when it was completed. It also boasts the biggest clock face in England, with each tower topped with a copper dome and the mythical Liver Birds.

Along with the Port of Liverpool Building, the trio of buildings became known as the Three Graces, part of the former Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Sadly the accolade was revoked in 2021 when it was felt that the planned development, including a new waterfront stadium for Everton Football Club would “overwhelm the historic, horizontal character of the docklands”.

On the left is the Mersey Ferry Terminal, now renamed ‘The Liverpool Gerry Marsden Ferry Terminal’, as it will forever be associated with ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’, the world famous anthem recorded by Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1964. The song is still heard by visitors and local people alike every day when it is played on the Mersey Ferries’ River Explorer Cruise. The terminal has the dubious distinction of winning of Britain’s Carbuncle Cup for ugliest new building!

So, IMHO, it appears Liverpool’s Waterfront is now rather like the curates egg – only good in parts!

2 responses to “The Waterfront”

  1. Sadly the building has the appearance of having been built with Lego blocks and was short changed on delivery.

    I really do wonder whether the issue of being dropped from the UNESCO World Heritage Site was more about the inclusion of that monstrosity of a building on the initial eye-line when alighting from the various ferries.and the view from the cruise liners.


  2. I have wondered about the Mersey Ferry Terminal, now renamed ‘The Liverpool Gerry Marsden Ferry Terminal’. It looks like it was Lego Project that was short changed on building blocks.
    I wonder if the UNESCO World Heritage Site was dropped because of the impression that it gave passengers that were alighting from the various cruise ships and ferries that used the port.


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