Hello, can anyone shed light on a structure at the corner of Lee Park Avenue and Belle Vale Road? I'm not from Liverpool but saw the structure, via google maps 'street view', while looking at parks, gardens and interesting places to visit near to the newly restored Festival Gardens site. Taking inspiration from how the structure currently looks, I painted my own version and have, since, ised it to try to generate answers as to what the structure was actually called, who designed it, when it was built and what it originally looked like. I've tried contacting Liverpool's architecture archive but that hasn't got me any further. Is it really called the Lee Park Avenue obelisk? And does anyone have a picture of what it looked liked before it was vandalised?
Information I've received so far, from the Twentieth Centuary Architecture Society: "One of our C20 Society Liverpool members, who is very well informed about public art in the city [he’s written books on the subject], has had another look at the ‘structure’. He suggests that it is the remains of an estate gateway ‘feature’ which has been vandalised over the years. The Lee Hall estate has high levels of deprivation. The concrete curved object may have had seating on or near it; this has been destroyed he thinks. In which case, the designer is likely to have been an in-house one in the Liverpool Corporation Architect’s Department, possibly in the 1970s." I was aware of most of this, already, having researched it myself, and think that the structure was probably in place before the 1970s. Can anyone suggest a closer date?
I moved with my parents to Lee Park as a baby when the estate was first built in 1957 or so - and I lived there until moving off to college. We lived at the top of Lee Park Avenue. I used Google street view to look at the corner of Lee Park Avenue and Belle Vale Road and I remember "the obelisk" well. It was erected in the late 60's when the 3 story maisonettes were built (there were also flats on the other side of Lee Park Avenue where there is now just grass). In the gaps in the structure, there used to be wooden seats with backs. The wood probably rotted away rather than being vandalized. I would guess that some long forgotten city planner designed it. BTW - One of Lee Park's more illustrious former residents, Sir Terry Leahy, lived not far from the obelisk on Westbrook Road. I went to OLA and St. Eddie's with Terry (or Tez, as we called him back then).
Post by motormouser on Jan 10, 2013 11:40:43 GMT -5
For many years there was a feature on this corner. It was a sandstone and concrete wall with wooden slatted seats built into it. It had a sign that said 'Lee Park Estate'. In front of of it, it it had a concrete platform about 100 mm thick about 1m off the ground and cantilevered off the wall feature. It had a large circular hole in it. In the middle of the hole was a wooden mast - painted white like a flag pole, but at the top it had 4 wooden 'flights', so it looked like an arrow sticking out of the ground. These days it would be called a 'gateway' structure - no real purpose, just 'welcome to' feature.
I've tried to draw it as I remember it - see the attached. Derek would remember it well, we used to climb on it! It slowly got vandalised and the 'arrow' was removed and then the wall as well.
There was another feature halfway up Lee Park Ave that had another 'arrow' - we always called that the 'sunken garden'. That disappeared years ago - I think there's houses on it now.
To whom it may concern, I wonder if you have lived in Lee Park for long as I am looking for information about a guy who lived there in the 60's. All I know his name was Jim and he was Irish, he had a family and apparently rode a motorbike/sidecar. Sorry there isn't much to go by but if you or anyone could help then I would be greatly pleased. Regards David.
I think this is a very good likeness to the original structure but it was erected late 50s when the estate was completed.The pole was a lot taller of course but you needed to show the top in your picture as for the pole in "the ornamentalgaredens"in Lee Park Ave it had a flat rounded top as a flag pole would.