For the second time this year one of the UK’s architectural gems has been ravaged by fire. Following the desolation of the Glasgow School of Art, Liverpool’s art deco landmark, the Littlewoods building is now also left as a smouldering shadow of its former self.
The definitive guidebook to British architecture, Pevsner describes it as: ‘in the same vein as the celebrated factories on the Great West Road in London… ( such as the Hoover and Firestone buildings)… outdazzling any of the buildings put up on the contemporary industrial estates’.
Built in the Roaring ‘20s, it reflected the exuberance of the age and has served many roles – as a wartime barrage balloon factory, printworks, offices and most famously as the very heart of the giant football pools operation. Earlier this year a multi-million pound plan to refurbish it for film and TV production was announced and it looked like this iconic and stylish building was to get a new lease of life.
York Minster, Windsor Castle and Uppark and Clandon Park all rose again from their ashes. We must wait to see the fate of the Littlewoods Building, but without it Liverpool will be so much poorer.