Archive for the ‘Heritage and Development’ Category

Hope Street Area

Posted: October 20, 2011 in Heritage and Development

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The Hope Street area, the Hope Street Quarter, the Cultural Quarter, the Georgian Quarter, the Bohemian Quarter….


We’ve come across many of the streets already: Canning, Huskisson, Catharine. The area includes these and many more. We have just seen in the last post how the Knowledge Quarter is joined up with the Hope Street Quarter.


We’ll be looking soon at other ‘quarters’ soon.


Looking towards the Knowledge Quarter

What is Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter? According to the prospectus which you can get as a pdf here :

Liverpool Knowledge Quarter stretches from the City’s Anglican Cathedral to the South, through the core facilities of Liverpool John

Moores University and University of Liverpool, taking in the Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool Science Park, Hope Street‘s cultural

offering and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine at its Northern fringe. The

Knowledge Quarter also reaches out to and includes John Moores University’s City campus on Byrom Street, an important gateway

to the city centre from north Liverpool where much of their science and technology research is based. The Quarter’s role as a centre

of learning is further enhanced by Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool Community College and Liverpool Institute for Performing

Arts (LIPA). Together these institutions house a concentration of expertise, knowledge and wealth creating potential, which we

believe is unrivalled in the UK.

We can add to those locations Copperas Hill, the old mail sorting office which is now to be developed by John Moores University.

The image above taken from the top of Hope Street shows how the new road surfaces and pavements have been continued towards the knowledge quarter. It’s well worth looking at the prospectus as it shows images of Hope Street itself, even street signs, certainly restauarants and bistros. The ambience of Hope Street being marketed here is seen as an important part of the  perceived ambience of  the Knowledge Quarter as a whole.

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Synagogue, pub, restaurant, fancy dress hire...


The building that was once the home of O’Connors Tavern which we’ve mentioned, as the venue of 60s poetry and music especially associated with Liverpool Scene and The Scaffold. It began as a synagogue in the early nineteenth century which then moved to Hope Place (next to the Unity Theatre). As time moves on, so many buildings have changed their function like this  one atthe corner of Hardman Street and Pilgrim Street. Time has a more immediate effect too. The picture below is of parts of the building that have fallen off. Be careful when walking past!


Something of a spoof perhaps from our Ged! How close to the ‘truth’ of tourism? Is Liverpool only known for its famous images – the Beatles, the ferries, the football, the waterfont, the scouse sense of humour? Do people just want to quickly see the famous places and move on quickly to ‘do’ another historical site or place associated with a famous person?


Do we glance in passing at history or stop and go deep? Adrian Henri wrote in his poem “I Want to Paint” the lines I want to paint…. Enormous paintings of every pavingstone in Canning Street. (Canning Street is in the Hope Street area or ‘quarter). Funnily enough, on Inspidered last year we did a ‘short history of pavements’!  There are infinite possibilities of ‘doing’ a history of Hope Street. We could present a formal. ‘touristy’ version, a straightforward history of the street’s development, concentrate on the residents, orexamine the pavements of Hope Street as a ‘way in’ to its history. Actually, we shall be mentioning pavements in the near future. The £2 million plus refurbishment of the street’s pavements is of historical significance.

Hope Street at the End of the Eighteenth Century

This map is included in the first major guide to Liverpool, The Liverpool Guide; including a Sketch of the Environs by the surgeon, William Moss. Note how Hope Street peters out towards the quarry (now St James Gardens), and how Leeces Street ends at Hope Street at the junction where the Philharmonic (pub and hall) now stand. Moss’s book is very interesting for many reasons but especially for the tone and attitudes revealed. It portrays Liverpool as a virtually crime-free city, where all live in harmony and attend church, and the existence of the poor is mentioned only to emphasise how charitable Liverpool citizens are, and how well looked after paupers are. We shall be returning to discuss this when we look at the history of Liverpool’s main workhouse at the top of Hope Street, and the surrounding alms houses and orphanages. In Moss’s scheme of the city it seems quite natural to him that there are ‘respectable’, ‘polite’ ‘superior class’ living alongside a middling mercantile class, and the ‘inferior classes’ of labourers and mechanics (and, presumably, paupers).

During the street disturbances this week, the ‘riots’ as the media called them, concern was expressed that the area of Parliament Street (potential troubles) is perilously close to the regenerated Georgian Quarter with Hope Street at its heart. Certainly there has been a renewal of references to an ‘underclass’ versus the good citizenry. Whatever the case, in the map above, the Georgian Quarter including Rodney Street is well established soon to be followed by fine buildings in the Liverpool 8 area, their change in status from homes of the rich to bedsits and flats of 50s and 60s bohemia, changes in demography and later regeneration schemes are all parts of the area’s history.

So Many Different Hope Streets

We have more than a thousand pictures of Hope Street taken in recent months. This one’s selected as a good example of how a picture can contain signs of so many different things. At the left is the famous Philharmonic Pub, the original location of William Hope’s house, the origins of the street’s name. A tour bus shows the rise of tourism in Liverpool over the past decades. The Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the well known markers of the limits of the street, also a reminder of the city’s biggest workhouse on that location, and, of course, the part religion, here Catholicism, has played in Liverpool’s history. The modern road surfaces and pavements demonstrate recent regeneration of the street. The Philharmonic Hall is the world famous home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and venue for all things musical – and, as we’ll see in later posts, the site of many activities and events apart from music, here, for instance being used for a graduation ceremony. Professional film and television makers are in evidence too reminding us both how many ‘notable’ individuals visit Hope Street, and how the area is a firm favourite for drama productions because of its Georgian terraces and cobbled streets. Finally, the chairs and tables at the bottom right of the picture stand for the growth of the ‘cafe culture’ along the street.

Yesterday, Steve took more than 2,000 pictures along Hope Street using quick burst, several frames a second mode. These will be used for a variety of purposes in our future productions. Just one of them is shown below as a contrast to the first picture: it’s dark, wet and maybe more ‘solid’ in its depiction of the street’s deeper history? Of course, in contrast to the modernised pavements above, the older paving stones are preserved here and in the entire ‘Hope Street Quarter’ along with cobbles, Victorian lamp posts and original brickwork etc. Perhaps, in an understated sense, we can ponder on the preservation of the past seemingly merging with the new.

Wall and Pavement