Municipal Dreams

The alleged English antipathy to multi-storey living (the Scots are different) is well attested but Liverpool – in this and much else – is an exception.  Its Corporation embraced tenements for practical reasons, as we shall see, but also as a conscious mark of the city’s urbanity and global status.  In so doing, it created some of the most striking council housing of the interwar period though sadly very little of it remains.

Gerard Gardens Gerard Gardens

The immediate context for the drive to inner-city multi-storey accommodation was a scale of slum housing unparalleled in the country.  In 1919, 11,000 Liverpool families were living in one room – over 6 per cent of the city’s population.  The Medical Officer of Health estimated 8000 new homes were needed and Liverpool – a pioneer in municipal housing – acted quickly to build the new cottage estates that the Tudor Walters Report recommended and Christopher…

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