Building sites don’t usually make the most interesting photographs but the sheer size of the plot for the new St John’s Market is quite staggering. The Royal Court stands out in isolation on the edge of the cleared site.
I have already made my feelings well known that I consider this development to be amongst the worst sins committed in the post-War period. It was not only the demolition of Foster’s original market – a place of great character which would have a viable function today (just look at Bury and Bolton markets – which are thriving enterprises) – but the wholesale destruction of a complete area of Georgian squares and streets. Liverpool was, unfortunately, not alone. There was a national outcry at the ‘sack’ of Bath, when a similar outrage took place (in the 1970s) and citizens of Newcastle are equally upset at the removal of half of Eldon Square to make way for a monstrous shopping mall. Why do we not learn as a country that development cannot be allowed for purely commercial motives? Developers still plough through our towns and cities with no regard for history and community. At least the recession has temporarily stopped the in their tracks.

St John’s Market 1965

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