Everton Library Exterior

Everton Library makes list of ‘most endangered’ Victorian buildings

Chloé Vaughan

The Victorian Society has highlighted the 10 buildings “most at risk of further dilapidation and loss” across the UK, including sites in Liverpool, Cheshire, and Manchester.

Everton Library in Liverpool, the former Church of St Luke in Cheshire, and Hulme Hippodrome in Manchester, all feature and are in varying states of disrepair, without imminent plans to restore them. The North West has the most endangered buildings on the list of all the regions in the UK.

Everton Library, Liverpool

Photo credit; The Victorian Society, Ian Tatlock

The library was opened in 1896 and is one of the earliest public libraries in Liverpool. It is grade two-listed due to the quality of its architecture and its role in developing Liverpool’s library service. It has not been in use since 1999 and has had two failed attempts to develop it. The building has been ransacked for lead in recent years and as such has suffered significant water damage. Earlier this year, Liverpool City Council published a notice seeking expressions of interests from individuals, community organisations, small builders and other organisations interested in redeveloping Everton Library for community or commercial use.

The former Church of St Luke, Cheshire

Photo credit; The Victorian Society, Ian Tatlock

The church was designed by George Frederick Bodley and was built between 1892-1893. Since declaring redundancy over 30 years ago, it has since been used for builder’s storage. It is one of three churches designed by Bodley to feature a double nave, or the central part of the church where the pews are typically arranged. The two naves are separated by a slender central arcade, making it an unorthodox design.

Hulme Hippodrome, Manchester

Photo credit; The Victorian Society, Ian Tatlock

The theatre originally opened on 10 October 1901 and was named the Grand Junction Theatre. It was designed by architect J.J. Alley and has since hosted plays and then bingo before its closure in 1988. It was brought back into use by evangelists the Deya Ministry, who bought the building in 1999 until it was once again closed in 2013. The building was sold at an auction in 2017 for £325,000 and currently stands in a “very poor state of repair and facing an uncertain future” according to the Victorian Society.

Griff Rhys Jones, president of the Victorian Society, said: “It is both inspiring and saddening to see this list. Who would have thought that a call to arms would reveal such a wealth of distinguished and absorbing architecture? From libraries to pubs to gorgeous theatres, these are gems. We are not looking at the second rate here. We are looking at real historical monuments- and yet we can only be taken aback.

“All of these historic sites are glorious and imaginative places ready for a new and productive life. How incredible that should feature on the Top Ten Endangered Buildings list. Let us hope people spring into action and pay attention.”

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Where is St Luke church in Cheshire?

By Old Hack

Re Everton Library – where’s Jonathan Brown? Come out come out wherever you are! We need you to save this fabulous building. And it’s on your ‘manor’. Something like the Florrie….would be good

By Mary Smiley

@Old Hack, St Lukes is on the corner of Old Liverpool Road and Beaufort Street, nearest postcode WA5 1BU

By At risk