Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Pier Head

Pop along the Pier Head and here is the Port of Liverpool Building, once of headquarters of the Mersey Docks.  They no longer occupy the building having moved to where the action is today with the coming and going of containers at Seaforth Dock.  But when this Edwardian Baroque building was constructed from 1904-1907 they were at the heart of things. The building is made of reinforced concrete and so has deeper than normal foundations and the whole thing is dressed with Portland stone, the combination makes it very fire resistant. The inside and outside are very ornate.  When the Luftwaffe came calling in the 1941 blitz of WW2 a bomb in the basement did much damage but with a bit of shoring up this sturdy building was reoccupied. After the war the building was restored which cost more than the original £259,000 it took to build. When the Mersey Docks left the building in 1994 it was again substantially refurbished into residential and office space at a cost of an even bigger amount of £10M.

The red and white striped building seen to the right was once the White Star Line offices who were owners of the ill-fated Titanic. 

The Port of Liverpool building is considered one of the three graces of the Pier Head, the other two being the famous Liver Building and the Cunard building
the Pier Head as can be seen is a popular place to stroll along.
 Or perhaps take the ferry across the Mersey to Birkenhead and board the good ship 'Stena Mersey' for the trip across the Irish Sea to Belfast.
But for something with futuristic lines stay on the Pier Head and see a High Speed Catamaran the 'Manannan' manoeuvre out of its moorings to
head on the short journey to the Isle of Man. Originally built in 2001 as the USS Joint Venture, when it had a flight deck on the top for the US Navy helicopters, it was refitted and a sky lounge added and renamed Manannán mac Lir after the Celtic sea god. In 2009 the sea-cat started making its trips from Liverpool to Douglas. How fast can this catamaran go, well apparently a pacey 50+ knots, unfortunately passengers will not experience that as fully laden it comes down to (a still impressive) 37.5 knots.

An entry to ABC Wednesday. A sail through the alphabet.


Roger Owen Green said...

an interesting place to visit, I'd think!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Chubskulit Rose said...

So grand!

Pile of Leaves
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots. The architecture of that Edwardian Baroque building is grand.

Leslie: said...

I recognized the building right away! I was there this summer and stayed at Albert Dock. Then we pulled our suitcases along the walk to catch the Manannan over to the Isle of Man! I have photos of the building because a friend of mine used to work there. What a coincidence that you posted this today! It is a stunning building!

abcw team

Pride In Photos said...

I love piers and ferries SO much. SO this was a great post for me♥

Dave said...

Thanks for this interesting history of Pier Head Joy. I enjoyed reading it - Dave

Laloofah said...

I can't possibly be the only one who perused this post with "Ferry Cross the Mersey" by Gerry and the Pacemakers playing in my head, can I?! :-)

I enjoyed reading the history of the Port of Liverpool building, and though it's been done at great cost, am [leased it's been refurbished and well cared for, because it's a beauty. Looks like it should be the capitol building of somewhere!

My great-grandmother was born in Birkenhead in 1858, so it was nice to see the part of the world she came from. And I'd love to visit the Isle of Man one day! As coincidence would have it, I was listening to the soundtrack from "Waking Ned Devine," which was filmed there, while reading this (and yes, it clashed a bit with "Ferry Cross the Mersey" that was simultaneously playing in my head!) :-)

Paula Scott said...

The the Port of Liverpool is an impressive building! Living in a city here that is just 30 years old, I feel a bit envious of older architecture.