It was announced on Monday July 19, 2004 that the plans for the so called "Fourth Grace" [many called it the Fourth Disgrace!] have been abandoned. The controversial design would have completely spoiled the Liverpool Waterfront destroying the vista of historic waterfront buildings.
The news that the “Fourth Grace” project has been scrapped is welcome indeed and hopefully means that the fine line of period buildings from the Albert Dock to the Liver Buildings will be maintained.
With the emphasis shifting to the provision of a cruise ship terminal and improved facilities for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s Douglas and Dublin services perhaps an opportunity exists to make use of part of the site intended for the “Fourth Grace”?
Could it be possible for the “ Road Range ” car showroom to be developed as a new Sea Terminal given that the car dealership is moving to a new location away from the Pier Head?
The “ Road Range ” building is a fine example of early 20th Century architecture in its own right and would make a fine terminal building. It is in an ideal location close to James St. Station, Albert Dock and many bus stops as well as having good vehicle access and just a few minutes walk from the Grosvenor Development at Chevasse Park .
Passengers travelling to Douglas and Dublin and tourists travelling on the cruise ships could use the upper floor of the car showroom as a departure lounge. Access to the Landing Stage would be provided along walkways at first floor level equipped with travellators; this would convey them across the present Maritime Museum car park.
The museum car park could be retained as a passenger parking and vehicle marshalling area for the Irish Sea services. New bridges could be built to link the car park and passenger walkways to the landing stage which could be extended southwards almost to the Canning river entrance.
The present Mersey Ferries berths could be moved a little further north to create more space for the larger vessels berthing at the south end of the Landing Stage.
To locate the new Sea Terminal on the “Fourth Grace” site would contain the development in the current roof line of the buildings in the area and would not be obtrusive. Furthermore moving the terminal to this location would obviate the public right of way conflict currently surrounding the terminal development in the St. Nicholas Place area.
Perhaps my suggestion is as impractical as some of the other proposals made for developments along the Liverpool waterfront over the past couple of decades– but perhaps it may just have some merit. I would be interested in other people’s opinions.
If you have any comments please post to the Irish Sea Ships Yahoo group.