In my list of Liverpool ‘grot spots’, this corner of Ranelagh Street would be near the top (along with the rest of the block along Lime Street). My reaction, though, is generated by the lack of care and maintenance rather than the intrinsic quality of the architecture. In fact, looking at how the building was when it first opened, as Peter Robinson’s new store, one can see the boldness and brightness of the architect’s vision. Concrete is not a material that ages well, but the addition of strong colour gives a cohesion and life to the building that is sadly lacking today.
Post-War architecture is slowly coming back into fashion as a new, younger generation looks at it with different eyes. Just as Georgian architecture fell out of favour with the Victorians and Victorian architecture, in turn, was disliked until the 1970s, the modernist movement of the 1950s and 60s has had its years in the shadows. Much that was built in the rush to reconstruct after the War was substandard but there are gems which should be appreciated. I would not go so far as to include this building in Ranelagh Street, but it would certainly look much better if restored to its original colour scheme.

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