Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look today.
Our main photo this week shows Bold Street in January 1938 with Radiant House, the headquarters of the Liverpool Gas Company, in the foreground.
It is a sombre time for the city with war clouds gathering over Europe. People are going quietly about their business with a few cars parked here and there.
The imposing art-deco Radiant House was built in the 1920s as a showpiece for the gas company. It prided itself as being at the forefront of scientific achievement and modern thinking in the inter-war years.
As well as showrooms to display cutting edge appliances, Radiant House featured a lecture theatre, roof gardens and tea-rooms.
Clearly visible at the front of the building are the four huge columns of marble which each support a weight of 750 tons. Each column has a circumference of 11 feet.
Radiant House was actually constructed over a disused tributary of the Mersey and four wells from previous houses had to be filled in. Concrete piles were driven deep into the ground to ensure the new building’s stability.
A concealed motor helped keep the revolving bronze and glass entrance doors moving to allow shoppers access to the grand 10,000 square foot ground floor showroom.
Bold Street itself is known for its mix of businesses, shops and cafes. It leads into the area surrounding Clayton Square and the central retail district of Liverpool.
*Hundreds of pictures from an unforgettable decade are packed into Clive Hardy’s fascinating book Around Merseyside in the 1960s. It’s available at £9.99 plus postage and packaging.
Just go to inostalgia.co.uk to place your order or ring the hotline on 01928 503777.