Book Launch: In the Footsteps of Peter Ellis

Footsteps cover for websiteIn the Footsteps of Peter Ellis by Robert Ainsworth and Graham Jones was launched on 4th September 2013 and is now available for purchase from our shop.

Click on the image to view sample pages from the book.

‘I have had a totally engrossing read of this book… I take my hat off to you for the quality of production and design… You have certainly notched up the quality of local history research significantly.’   Timothy Stevens, Assistant Director (Collections) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a previous Director of the Walker Art Gallery.

‘I have just finished your outstanding book… It was absolutely fascinating in its clarity and execution.’  Ken Rogers, Managing Director, Trinity Mirror, and author of The Lost Tribe of Everton and Scottie Road.

‘I think it is a fabulous publication.’  Karen O’Rourke, Curator of Social History, National Museums Liverpool.

Although Peter Ellis is now known in architectural circles the world over as a pioneer in the method of construction of office buildings which later would lead to American skyscrapers, this is not a book on architecture.

It is the history of Peter himself, the story of a man born 1st August 1805 at Shaw’s Brow, and who died 20th October 1884 at Falkner Square, having lived to see the town of Liverpool become a city.

It is perhaps a book for the many people who came to know of Peter Ellis through the account of his work by Quentin Hughes in his marvellous book Seaport (‘every town needs this kind of poem’ had written one reviewer), and who were saddened to learn that the design of Oriel Chambers was so ahead of its time that Peter was ridiculed by the architectural press of the day and that his career may have suffered badly as a consequence. Our account of Peter’s life suggests that this concern can be laid to rest.

Our story traces Peter’s upbringing and his marriage to Mary, and identifies a number of their relations; it looks at the various stages of his career, and revisits the places where he lived and worked to see how they have changed between his time there and the present day; it identifies several other buildings for which he was the architect – both before and after his two famous offices – and illustrates other professional matters with which Peter was concerned as a valuer, surveyor and civil engineer. And, in the very last year of Peter’s life, we will discover an intriguing entry in Gore’s Liverpool Directory.




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