Warehouse, c1884. Fireproof cast-iron frame construction encased internally in concrete. Mellow red-brick exterior with red and blue-black brick dressings. 6-storeys plus basement.
Reason for Listing
The warehouse at 12 Effingham Street is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:* Architectural form: its design is above the purely functional, incorporating polychrome brickwork dressings, an oculus, and a sandstone cornice to the principal elevation; * Technological interest: its fireproof features highlight the changing technology, and developments, in warehouse construction during the C19; * Degree of survival: it is little altered externally and despite some minor alteration the interior retains its original open-plan arrangements and key features, such as the enclosed fireproof stair; * Historic interest: it is an important survival of a late-C19 warehouse associated with the trade of the international port of Liverpool at the peak of its prosperity, expansion and success, acting as a physical reminder of the late-C19 character of the northern dock areas, once densely packed and characterised by canyon-like streets of tall warehouses.
A number of Building Acts introduced in the early-mid C19 stipulated the use of structural features into warehouse design that would make warehouses less likely to collapse in the advent of fire, such as cast-iron columns on the ground floor, an enclosed stair bay, and timbers of a certain thickness. However, unlike in textile mills, fireproof construction in warehouses was not enforced and many continued to be built with either none or very limited provision throughout the C19.In the late-C19 Effingham Street, which is located just to the east of Brocklebank Dock and close to the former site of the North Carriers Dock (infilled in the late-C20), was lined on both sides by tall multi-storey warehouses. A short terrace of houses was also located at the western end of the street on the north side, in a space now occupied by mid-C20 warehousing. The warehouse at 6 Effingham Street is believed to have been constructed c1884 as a cotton warehouse for Messrs D & L Hughes. Goad's Fire Insurance Plans of 1890 record that at that time all the warehouses in Effingham Street were owned by the Hughes'.In 1920 the IRA attacked and destroyed a number of warehouses in Liverpool and Bootle, including on Effingham Street. Further warehouses on Effingham Street were damaged during the Second World War, and with later disuse and changing needs the majority have since been reduced in height to single-storey and 2-storeys and amalgamated internally.
Warehouse, c1884. Fireproof cast-iron frame construction encased internally in concrete. Mellow red-brick exterior with red and blue-black brick dressings. 6-storeys plus basement.PLAN: the warehouse, which is located on the south side of Effingham Street, has a rectangular plan with a relatively narrow frontage, but a depth that extends far back to the rear. It is enclosed on both sides by other warehouses originally of a similar date and style, but which have been heavily altered and substantially reduced in height. Napier Street, which was originally located to the rear of the warehouse, has since been built upon and replaced by modern warehousing.EXTERIOR: the warehouse's front (north) elevation facing Effingham Street is of 4-bays with a raised ground floor and two loading bays to bays-2 and 4 set within full-height recesses with blue-black, cut and rubbed brick quoining detail and red-brick arched heads. Tiered sheet-iron loading doors bearing the names of the O & D Williams and Thomas Brothers iron foundries survive, along with the original protective timber fenders (to prevent bales damaging the building when first lifted) flanking the base of each loading bay and iron hooks set into the brickwork. The bay to the far left of the elevation has a segmental-arched entrance to the ground floor (accessing the warehouse's stair) containing a studded sheet-iron door set within a cast-iron frame. Above the entrance are a series of slender stair windows with cast-iron frames and sheet-iron shutters, red-brick segmental-arched heads, and blue-black, cut and rubbed brick sills. Set to bay-3 are wider, squarer windows in the same style that light the internal storage areas; that to the ground-floor has lost its original sill, which has been replaced and built-up in concrete. To the base of bay-3 is an additional inserted doorway with a cast-iron frame, concrete lintel and a sheet-iron door. At the top of the elevation, in line with the windows below, is an oculus with a red-brick surround lighting the jigger loft (the top floor where the hoist machinery was housed), whilst above, and stretching across the elevation, is a sandstone cornice and brick parapet. The brickwork on the west (right side) elevation has been repaired at the front corner, presumably when the adjacent warehouse was reduced in height. The warehouse's roof is hidden from view on both sides by a brick parapet (a fireproofing measure to prevent fire travelling between neighbouring buildings) with sandstone copings.INTERIOR: internally there is an enclosed stone stair set to the front left of the building within a brick stair compartment that accesses all the warehouse's floor levels, although access to the upper floors has been blocked-up on the first landing. Sheet-iron doors set within cast-iron frames lead off to the right on the basement and ground-floor levels into large open-plan warehouse spaces, which have cast-iron floors, ceilings and supporting piers all encased in concrete (the construction is visible on the ground-floor level where a small section of ceiling is missing), and this plan is believed to remain intact on the upper floors. A doorway to the rear left of the ground floor, which would have originally led into the neighbouring warehouse, has been blocked-up, and set alongside the east wall are two kitchenette/office structures* that possibly date to the early-mid C20 and are not of special interest. It is unknown whether any hoist machinery survives in the jigger loft.* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Area) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.