The Futurist in Lime Street, Liverpool is a beloved building with a long and interesting history. The cinema opened in 1912, becoming one of the favourite upmarket properties of its type in the UK. The design was deserving of praise with its attractive Georgian facade. The French Renaissance interior was a similar standard with a grand foyer and numerous noteworthy architectural features.
The cinema closed in 1982 and has fallen into disrepair over the years. Since then there have been numerous plans for the site, many of which have required demolition of the building. In 2012 a campaign was set up to preserve the facade of the Futurist at least to ensure it is retained for future generations to enjoy. Work has been ongoing for the last few years to make this happen.
The most recent work on the site involved a check from structural engineers to see if retaining the facade would be feasible. The report was commissioned after council officials deemed the cinema to be at risk of structural collapse due to its state of disrepair. The property was cordoned off on April 15th 2016 to protect members of the public in case this occurred.
The report states that it is possible to retain the facade of the futurist with the use of temporary works to prop it up. Steel frames could be used to provide stability and support the front elevation of the building. These could be left in place whilst the rest of the property was demolished and a replacement constructed. Only a small amount of work would be required on the facade, focused on the top pediment. The work could be kept to a minimum though and tiles could be conserved.
The campaign to save the property is backing the report and encouraging the council to ensure that the facade of the futurist is retained on any future development. They claim the pre First World War building is a landmark and deserves to remain a crucial piece of the culture of the city.
At Denon Construction we have a lot of experience with structural propping within renovation, alterations and facade retention. We know how much work would be needed to retain such a large, impressive facade but are confident that the work can be accomplished to a high standard.