The Beatle’s widow Yoko Ono has given her blessing for Liverpool John Moores University’s Art and Design Academy in Duckinfield Street to take the name of her late husband.
The Royal Institute of British Architects-award winning building is home to over 1,000 students in art and design, and will now be named the John Lennon Art and Design Building.
The John Lennon Art and Design Building is fittingly located just down the road from 68 Hope Street former College of Art.
Now owned by LIPA, it was where, in the 50s, art student Lennon met best friend and original Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe and which famously houses the lecture hall where Lennon met his first wife, Cynthia.
LJMU had been using the old building for different academic disciplines but is finally vacating the site this summer.
Known for its serpentine shape and completed in 2008, The John Lennon Art and Design Building sits directly in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral.
The signage for the building will now feature the distinctive self-penned line drawing of John Lennon that has become so well known for its use on the John Lennon Airport.
Yoko Ono has been involved in the development of the building from the start and in 2006, as work was about to commence on site, she was a guest of the university at a profile raising event in New York, hosted by former LJMU Chancellor, Cherie Blair.
She has been instrumental in helping the university establish its John Lennon Imagine Awards to support students who have been in local authority care or who are estranged from their parents.
And today she said she was delighted that her late husband was being immortalised in the city where he studied.
She said: “John studied at the university when it was the College of Art and it provided the springboard for so many influential aspects of his life.
“When the university approached me about naming the building after John I was so touched. I was there when the building was planned and have watched its progress with great interest. It is an enormously fitting tribute to John and our shared connections with LJMU.”
The signage for the building will be put in place over the summer months ready for the start of the new academic year in September.
Curtis Reid, President of the LJMU students union said: “This is just fantastic. John Lennon was a student at this University, he was one of us and he is such an inspiration. Now, future generations of students will know that they are following in his footsteps – it’s really exciting.”
And university Vice Chancellor, Professor Nigel Weatherill said: “I’m delighted and personally grateful to Yoko Ono for allowing us to name the building after John Lennon. It’s a tribute not just to John Lennon and all that he achieved but also to Yoko who is so committed to John’s hometown and inspiring the young people who live and study here to achieve their dreams.”
By Ben Turner