This wouldn’t be a blog if the phrase ‘credit crunch’ was not thrown about here and there – it’s the topic of the moment. But of course history has a couple of other examples of similar lean periods in the past (to say the least), and the BBC Liverpool website is currently hosting a feature about ‘Creativity in the Great Depression’.
The article details the PhD thesis (Spectacular Urban Culture in the Age of Decline: Liverpool and Manchester, 1918-1939) of Manchester University’s Dr. Charlie Wildman, who has been investigating the 1920s and 30s in Liverpool and Manchester. Dr. Wildman discovered that the city authorities invested in public transport and civic and commercial architecture during the Depression years – examples include the Mersey Tunnel, the Phil, and extensions to the Town Hall.
The most interesting feature is the £1m raised to build the Catholic Cathedral, although to quite different designs of Edwin Lutyens than that actually constructed.
In other news, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris have won the competition to restore the art deco Royal Court theatre. By the looks of the photos on that page, it seems they’ll be keeping the great 1930s architecture, while reinvigourating the interior. Good luck to them – I must mention that this is where I went to my first gig: Liverpool band the Lightning Seeds in 1997!