St John’s Beacon given listed status
The Liverpool landmark, which formed part of proposals for a 400-metre zip wire earlier this year, has been granted grade two-listed status by Historic England, which said its design “embodies the technological bravura and spirit of the space age”.
Also known as Radio City Tower, the building was constructed between 1965 and 1969 as part of planner Graeme Shankland’s wider masterplan for Liverpool city centre and was originally used as an observation tower.
“It is one of only a few buildings to have been realised in the Shankland Plan, widely regarded as the most ambitious masterplan produced for any British city in the 1960s, and it is a powerful symbol of post-war renewal and modernisation,” according to Historic England.
In 1999, it was converted into a radio broadcasting studio after a £5m refurbishment project. St John’s Beacon is owned by Bauer Media, the German multimedia conglomerate that owns Radio City and Greatest Hits Radio Liverpool, which broadcast from the tower.
In outlining its reasons for listing the 125-metre building, conservation body Historic England said the it represented “a bold and optimistic 1960s vision of the future after the horrors of the Second World War”.
More recently, the building, designed by James A Robert was at the centre of the debate around proposals from outdoor pursuits firm ZipWorld, which lodged plans for a 400-metre zip wire stretching from St John’s Beacon to Central Library.
Plans for the scheme were approved in June, sparking anger among residents and conservation groups, before Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson intervened, rescinding planning permission.