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Description: Former Liverpool Airport Control Tower and Terminal
Date Listed: 19 June 1985
English Heritage Building ID: 359552
OS Grid Reference: SJ4146983773
OS Grid Coordinates: 341469, 383773
Latitude/Longitude: 53.3476, -2.8807
SJ 48 SW SPEKE ROAD
392/10/1178 Former Liverpool Airport Control Tower
19-JUN-85 and Terminal
Former airport terminal building and control tower, now hotel. 1937-40, altered 1960, and converted and extended for hotel use 1999-2001. Built to the designs of E.H. Bloomfield of the Liverpool Corporation's Land Steward and Surveyor's office, as one of 3 component structures designed as the central ensemble for the new Liverpool municipal airport. Steel and cast iron structural frame with brown brick walling and concrete and stone dressings. Linear Art Deco style.
PLAN: Curved arms with a viewing platform flank a central control tower behind which is a projecting central block, now flanked by modern extensions. Designed as the central element of a curved ensemble of buildings facing onto a wide V-shaped apron at the perimeter of a grass flying field.
EXTERIOR: Flying field (south) elevation: Brown brick walling incorporates generous window provision, with concrete storey bands, and shallow bands to window head and cill levels. Central control tower of 7 storeys, the lower section circular in plan, becoming hexagonal for the major part of the tall glazed upper section. The terminal building in which it stands is comprised of mainly 2 and 3 storey flat-roofed sections arranged in a stepped configuration, rising towards the centre, and rising to 5 storey height to the rear of the tower. This elevation facing the airfield apron has a projecting ground floor with gallery over, the central projection with rounded ends. 8-bay ranges of 3 storeys flank the tower. The outer and lower 10-bay ranges also have rounded ends.
Land side (rear) elevation is now largely obscured by the wing added 2002 to create additional hotel accommodation, but the original circular stair towers which flanked the land side entrance have been retained. The exterior of the building has been extensively repaired, and external window and door frames replaced with C21 components of similar design.
INTERIOR: The interior of the building has been comprehensively remodelled to provide C21 hotel facilities and the plan of the building has been radically modified, but original staircases remain.
HISTORY: The plan of Speke Airport, and the design of the terminal building, was closely modelled on Hamburg's Fuhlsbuttel Airport of 1931 by Bryssen and Avershoff (now demolished). In 1934, the City Council authorised a fact-finding visit trip to European airports in Berlin, Hamburg and Amsterdam. Following the visit, the City's Land Steward and Surveyor was instructed to submit plans for a new airport based on the Fuhlsbuttel design. Following approval in 1935, construction began on the terminal and Hangar No.1. The control tower of the building was completed first, as a free-standing structure, and the completed building and adjacent hangar were officially opened on the 11th June 1937. The building underwent extension and comprehensive repair and refurbishment by The Speke-Garston Development Company in 1999-2001 and is now a hotel.
Forms a group with the former Liverpool Airport International Terminal (former Hangar 2.) (q.v.) and the former Liverpool Airport Hangar No. 1 (q.v.)
SOURCES: 'Speke Airport, Liverpool' Unpublished report prepared for English Partnerships by Stephen Levrant. 1997. 'Berlin, Liverpool, Paris - Airport Architecture of the Thirties.' Paul Smith and Bernard Toulier. 2000.
The former Control Tower and terminal building of the former Speke Airport is of exceptional architectural interest as the central and most prominent component of the most complete civil aviation ensemble of the pioneer phase of international air travel to survive in England. Designed by E.H. Bloomfield, the tower and terminal building formed the focal point of the most ambitious municipal airport project of the inter-War period, and had a significant military role in the Second World War. The building and its accompanying hangars, now fully repaired and converted to new uses, remain an iconic presence in Liverpool.
1 . Paul Rees, 'A Guide to Merseysides Industrial Past' (North Western Society for Industrial Archaeology and History 1984), Page(s) 19
2. Philip Butler, 'An Illustrated History of Liverpool Airport' (Merseyside Aviation Society 1983)
3. Roger Bowdler, 'History of Speke Airport' in Bob Hawkins et al eds., ' Historic Airports. Proceedings of the International l'Europe de l'Air Conferences' (English Heritage 2005)
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.