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 the trio of world-renowned Liverpool landmarks known as the Three Graces in October 1959.
The distinctive waterfront structures are darker in appearance as a result of decades of soot and smog. The Clean Air Act of 1956 had only been passed three years earlier and the brighter, underlying stonework we see today had yet to be cleaned and restored.
But there’s no mistaking the distinctive outlines of the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and the Port Of Liverpool Building. Years of grime have not dulled their grandeur.
Just behind the Pier Head vista is the square tower or air shaft above the George’s Dock Building, an integral part of Liverpool’s UNESCO-designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City.
Constructed in the 1930s, the building was designed by Herbert Rowse, the chief architect of the Queensway tunnel.
The iconic Royal Liver Building – the work of Liverpool architect Walter Aubrey Thomas – was opened in July 1911. It is 322 feet tall and houses 13 floors.
It holds the distinction of being the first major building in Britain to be constructed using reinforced concrete.
The Italian Renaissance-style Cunard Building was constructed from 1914 to 1917, a decade after its neighbour – the Baroque-influenced Port of Liverpool Building.
The latter was the headquarters of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for 87 years. Its central dome, rising to a height of 220ft, has been compared to those of St Paul’s Cathedral in London and St Peter’s in Rome.
*Hundreds of pictures from an unforgettable decade are packed into Clive Hardy’s fascinating book Around Merseyside in the 1960s. It’s available from our online shop or by calling the order hotline on 01928 503777.