|Copyright: Nigel Smith (Nigel_Smith)
|Date Taken: 2011-04-23|
|Categories: Daily Life, Architecture|
|Camera: Olympus E510|
|Exposure: f/7.1, 1/160 seconds|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2011-04-30 6:50|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Thomas Steers Way Liverpool on Easter Sunday.|
Thomas Steers Way is a pedestrian thoroughfare that was formed as part of the 42 acre “Paradise Project”, which created the Liverpool 1 retail and leisure development.
To the Right of frame is the Liverpool Hilton Hotel and behind it is the John Lewis department store. As foundations were dug for these two buildings, parts of Thomas Steers’ original “Old Dock” were found, halting work whilst this was investigated and preserved. Thomas Steers’ dock was the first commercial enclosed wet dock in the world, opened in 1715, and this led to the rapid development of the Port of Liverpool as one of the world’s leading ports. It was created near the mouth of the Lyver Pool, a natural inlet off the River Mersey, around which the City of Liverpool grew and, being an enclosed dock, enabled loading and unloading to take place uninterrupted by the heavy tides in the Mersey.
Rapid development of the dock system, with new, larger and more sophisticated docks, caused the waterfront to reclaim more and more of the muddy banks of the Mersey, and in the 1820s the original “Old Dock” was filled in and a new Custom House built on the site. This astonishing Greek Revival building was badly damaged during the 2nd World War and subsequently demolished. The site for some years housed 1960s offices which, thankfully, were also demolished as part of the redevelopment of the area. The Hilton and John Lewis now occupy what was roughly the site of the old dock and its surroundings, and the water feature that can be seen to the foreground and Left of my photograph commemorates the approximate location of the Lyver Pool. Near to the entrance to John Lewis is a circular viewing window surrounded by a railing, which offers a dimly lit glimpse of part of the remaining Old Dock wall, which has been preserved underground. Occasional tours are arranged by the local Museum. If you look through this window into the ground, you need to stand with your back toward the Hilton and shield your eyes from the sun to be able to see the stonework beneath.
Thomas Steers Way is a fitting memorial to the architect of one of the most important and influential pieces of Liverpool’s Maritime history who was, indeed, a pioneer of dock technology. It also forms a broad and attractive walkway from Paradise Street and the City Centre directly to the famous Albert Dock and other waterfront features.
To orient yourself with some of my other photographs - behind me as I stood to take this image are Canning and Salthouse Docks, with Albert Dock beyond.
The red, white and blue bunting, by the way, was there in preparation for the Royal Wedding celebrations!
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