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Report - Greenbank Synagogue, Liverpool, May 2014

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Wakey lad, May 26, 2014.

  1. Wakey lad

    Wakey lad 28DL Full Member
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    The Greenbank Drive Synagogue was built in 1936/7 and is the work of the notable Liverpool architect Sir Ernest Alfred Shennan. Most of his other work is also in Merseyside and comprises a diversity of building types. His inter-war designs included Westminster Banks; five cinemas including the listed Forum Cinema on Lime Street, Liverpool; restaurant interiors (The French Café and Arabic Café, both 1933, Liverpool); dance halls (The Grafton Rooms, Liverpool, 1934); hotels and office blocks. Greenbank Drive is Shennan’s only synagogue and is very different to the rest of his oeuvre up to that time which, apart from the banks, was distinctive art deco.

    The Synagogue has a re-inforced concrete and steel frame structure, with the external walls faced in ‘golden brown’ hand cut bricks. There is a grand approach to the west front entrance up two flights of shallow steps, with curved concrete balustrades. The west front has a three bay projecting entrance, with three semi-circular headed double curved brick arches supported on circular brick piers.

    A cantilevered gallery is wrapped around three sides (open at the east end) in a graceful elliptical curve. The spectacular and innovatory ceiling configuration has a barrel curve between the north and south sides of the building springing from above continuous canopies of intersecting segmented concrete arches which run west-east above the upper range of windows on each side of the building. There is a clerestory of semi circular lunettes, each set within and framed by a segmented curve of the concrete canopy above. This concrete canopy is understood to be the very first use of this architectural form in Great Britain.

    Greenbank Drive Synagogue is architecturally by far the most important and innovatory 20th century synagogue in England and is the finest surviving synagogue in Europe dating from the inter-war period. It also has important socio-historic significance as representing a last late optimistic cultural expression of European Jewry before the holocaust.

    Despite the Grade II* listing, this building remained at risk as the synagogue closed in January 2008 and conversion of the building into housing association flats was proposed. This scheme had it gone ahead would have destroyed the uniquely important interior.

    English Heritage has provided £51,000 in grants with the council also giving £20,000. A significant share of the money will be used to repair the roof and make it weather-proof once again.

    Discussions as to what use will be found for the building are ongoing.

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    Thanks for looking​
     

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  2. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Some great images mate, looks a good place :thumb
     
  3. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nice ones :thumb

    Rumour had it that it was now sealed........obviously not lol

    Not much seems to have changed inside apart from a little sweep around. And nice to see the Wheelchair returned to it"s room :)

    Any Brass Plaques still left on the wall ?
     
  4. Indecisive Moment

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    Yes, there are.

    Nicely photographed :)
     
    #4 Indecisive Moment, May 27, 2014
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  5. Southside UE

    Southside UE 28DL Regular User
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    Nicely done, do like the look of this place
     
  6. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Looks still a good venture there, nice report and pics :thumb
     
  7. ExpoLight

    ExpoLight 28DL Full Member
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    Good pics, Nice condition inside, nice to see fittings and fixtures, not too much decay or vandalism. Nice site
     
  8. krissigalores

    krissigalores Poison Ivy
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    Love all the big spaces & big windows.. And of course, the stairs!
    Very nice site indeed.
    Great photography too. :)
     
  9. Camera Shy

    Camera Shy Old enough to know better
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    Great set of pics
     
  10. ZerO81

    ZerO81 Team Weasel
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    Great pics of a great location.

    Good to see you posting again mate, there has been a Wakey sized hole here for too long :)

    That scaff on the front is certainly new!
     
  11. UrbanXp

    UrbanXp 28DL Member
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    Visited today and all the gates have new locks on. Is there an access around the back. Do the cameras work above the door ? Cheers. J
     
  12. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Oh no there"s never new locks on the Gates ....shit! I won"t be able to ride my Disability Scooter in now ;) And with the fence being so high as well :rolleyes:

    I suggest you read the FAQ"S you were asked to read when you joined!

    And introduce yourself in the New Members section may be a good idea ? After you read the FAQ"s
     
  13. paulpowers

    paulpowers Massive Member
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    Shit be Sealed


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  14. Bigian88

    Bigian88 The Massive Mancunian
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    What they are trying to say in a round about way is; When there's a will, there's a way.

    Entrances to some places aren't usually blatantly obvious or Joe public would be all up in there having a nosey round and potentially causing damage/stealing things. Have a wonder around, be creative with your approach and you'll usually find a way in to anywhere :)
     
  15. captainwow

    captainwow 28DL Full Member
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    This. And asking openly for access details is considered very bad etiquette. You'll find everyone here very friendly and encouraging if you find things off your own back rather than ask for it. We've all had to start the hard way. Good luck though.
     
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