Downing Unearths Treasures at The Arch

A builder working on Downing’s latest Liverpool student accommodation scheme, The Arch, has unearthed a time capsule containing items dating back hundreds of years.

The items contained in the capsule included a parchment commemorating the laying of the foundation stone of the building, which dates back to 9th December 1856. The capsule also held a copy of the Liverpool Daily Post from the same date and a broken glass vessel with stopper.

Downing donated The Arch Liverpool Time Capsule items to the Museum of Liverpool. The items were displayed from 26 June to 27 July 2015 as part of the Festival of Archaeology.

“The discovery of the time capsule and its subsequent display at the Museum of Liverpool epitomises the merging of the old and the new. The buildings that formed the Liverpool of bygone eras are being externally preserved to give way to modernised, fit for purpose interiors.

Students are able to call one of the city’s many architecturally rich buildings home and the artefacts discovered give a fascinating insight into the building’s heritage.”

Ann Lodge

Chief Executive at Downing

The building was originally a workshop, warehouse and storeroom for Abbott’s Cabinet Makers on the corner of Nelson Street, one of the building’s many incarnations. A transcript of the document found in the capsule lists the attendees at the laying of the foundation stone, including architect Henry Summers and William Henry Abott, owner of Abbott Cabinet Makers. A number of other Abbott family members are also named as present on the parchment.

Pre 1980s the building was the site of the Scandinavian Hotel before sitting derelict for a number of years. ‘Stop the Rot’, a campaign spearheaded by the Liverpool Echo marked the building as an example of some of Liverpool’s finest historic architecture that it was imperative to preserve.

“We’re displaying the time capsule at the Museum of Liverpool for the Festival of Archaeology. We are pleased that Downing has given these objects, unearthed from beneath the city’s streets, for the Museum to look after for future generations. This time capsule will give visitors a fascinating glimpse into Liverpool at an important point in the city’s development. We’re looking forward to our visitors’ response to seeing material that could have laid undiscovered forever.”

Janet Dugdale

Director of the Museum of Liverpool

The building now houses students from around the globe in modern apartments. Rising demand from students, both international and domestic, for affordable, spacious and modern apartments makes The Arch a great fit to accommodate the city’s students. The preserved exterior gives way to a modern, purpose built interior with a combination of studio and shared apartments. All rooms are ensuite with communal areas for students to socialise in as the accommodation is tailored to the needs of the residents with free Wi-Fi, on site laundry facilities and a games room to name just a few of the fit for purpose facilities available to residents. Downing’s objective is to offer a balance between independent living and a secure environment.

The use of the building as student accommodation will ensure its long term future in an ideal location close to the heart of the city centre, the perfect position for Liverpool’s thriving student community.