A recent BBC One programme about Liverpool housing had an interesting section about the Liverpool Georgian Quarter, charting its height to its eventual decline as it became part of the inner city. Watch it on iPlayer from around 7.03 to about 10.49.
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The below terrace is on Percy Street in Liverpool. It is on the same street as this 'terrace'.*
*Inverted commas because it is technically a terrace but doesn't have many of the characteristics I would usually associate with terraces. I live in a terrace for god's sake.
|From the derelict top of Percy Street to the practically opulent bottom of Percy Street.|
My first thoughts, even before I went to see this in the flesh (I was introduced to it by @Liverpool1207 on Twitter) was: what a waste. The houses in the streets around here, called the Georgian Quarter, are stunning. This block is abandoned to the point where there are plants growing out of them. Other blocks that are still in use have been bought by landlords and letting agents and chopped up into flats. From what I can see, lots of these ones are neglected. They must see a constant flow of tenants in and out and even with the most long term tenants in them, landlords trying to make a few quid out of letting are not interested in maintaining the character or history of their building are they? They just want to get the rent and make the minimum of repairs necessary.
My brother used to live in a flat at the top of a Georgian house in a nearby street. It had a wide front door with pillars and a grand (but run down) hallway. The stairs kept going up and up. There were multiple flats in there each with multiple rooms and tenants. I gasped at the potential grandeur of the place when I first visited, though of course, it wasn't grand, it was wrecked and carved up into lettable boxes.
As I walk along Percy Street, which is not particularly long, the houses are in better repair, have grander doors and look very posh inside. Indeed, even not on this particular street, but the streets around here, I have been stunned by the opulence I see when I look in the windows. They're the kind that are so posh they don't have nets or blinds, know what I mean? Some have shutters. They have busts on shelves and that. All of this fascinates me - the rich in amongst the poor - and it makes me all the more nostalgic and interested in the dilapidated houses. What's their story? Who used to live there? Similar to my last blog post about Croxteth Hall and its history, I love to think of the history behind these places and what they would have been like in their hey day, compared to now.
|This was only the next block from the derelict block. Clearly divided into flats but still showing off some of its grander past in the doorway.|
|Particularly enjoyed the doorbell panel. Looked like a right numpty taking this photo!|
A few doors further along I met this fella. I heard him before I saw him, meowing like mad. A man stuck his head out of a first floor window and told the cat he was coming to let him in. I tried to make friends with the cat as he pushed desperately at the door as if he was in the arctic tundra and desperate to get inside. He meowed at me, but was more interested in getting inside. I suppose he's learnt to be loud so his dad can hear him from the first floor.
|The house for sale for mega money is just to the left of this. I didn't recognise it at the time or I would have taken a bad photo of it.|
|It was Christmas hence the wreath. It's taken me months to write this post.|
Now we move to a seemingly special place. On the corner of Hope Street and Canning, opposite the Cathedral is this 'terrace' gated off and with expensive looking cars. I can only look on and wonder about the inhabitants of this block. I shuffled off quickly before they called their butlers or whatever to come and move on the riff raff that was taking photos of their home and cars.
|Down onto Upper Duke Street.|
I moved onto Rodney Street. Now this is a famously high class street. It used to house the offices of doctors, solictors, accountants and other rich types. It still does house a lot of their offices, but there are also a lot of derelict buildings too. One thing cannot be doubted though, there are some very special doors on this street. I present to you:
Doors of Rodney Street
|Holla at the foot scrapers and the extra large door numbers|
Hmm, seems I didn't take as many photos of Rodney Street doors as I thought...
However, I have saved the best for last. Down a little side street, look at this beaut:
|How do you get in?!|