Following the purchase of a site at Brownlow Hill in 1930, Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869–1944) was commissioned to provide a design which would be an appropriate response to the Giles Gilbert Scott-designed Anglican cathedral then under construction. Lutyens’ design was intended to create a massive structure that would have become the second-largest church in the world. It would have had the world’s largest dome, with a diameter of 168 feet compared to the 137.7 feet diameter on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Building began in 1933. In 1941, the restrictions of World War II wartime and a rising cost from £3 million to £27 million forced construction to stop. After the war, Lutyens’ design for the Cathedral was considered too costly and was abandoned with only the crypt complete. Adrian Gilbert Scott, brother of Giles Gilbert Scott was commissioned in 1953 to work on a smaller cathedral design. He proposed a scaled-down version of Lutyens’ building, retaining the massive dome. This also did not go ahead.