16 Cook Street, Liverpool isn’t the most astonishing building ever but the Grade II* Listed Building is one of only two by the architect Peter Ellis. I originally went out to photograph his other building, Oriel Chambers, but it was covered in scaffolding when I walked to it so I’ve picked out his Cook Street building instead.
Why would I want a photograph of a stone and glass fronted building that I see everyday and not even realised what it was myself?
Oriel Chambers, built in 1864, was the world’s first metal framed, glass curtain walled building. Every building with a metal structure supporting it’s weight and curtain walls is a descendant of this radical piece of architecture. 16 Cook Street is a development on the style of the Oriel Chambers and is a precursor to the modernist style of architecture.
The Cook Street building was built in 1866. There is speculation that the John Root, who was sent abroad to avoid the American Civil War and was in Liverpool at the time, was influenced by the building when developing early skyscrapers in Chicago.