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Paul McCartney Visits John Lennon’s Alma Mater

John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

The Liverpool College of Art, the college where John Lennon and original Beatles bassist Stu Sutcliffe studied in the ’50s, has been purchased by the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (or LIPA), a UK arts program co-founded by Paul McCartney — and McCartney himself paid a visit recently to tour the grounds.

Commenting on the fact that LIPA also owns the Liverpool Institute for Boys, where he and George Harrison went to school, McCartney mused, “As well as reuniting two landmark Liverpool buildings, I’m glad that this also brings back together George, John and myself. Aside from being a building we brought back from the brink, LIPA is now contributing as Mark and I dreamed all those years ago.”

The “Mark” McCartney was referring to is Mark Featherstone-Witty, the LIPA co-founder who joined up with him in the late ’80s to explore the idea of rescuing derelict school buildings and using them to further British performing arts education. Today, LIPA offers multiple courses of study, including eight full-time BA honors programs and a popular academy for younger performers.

“There are sound business reasons why we are buying the building next door, but there’s no denying the romance of bringing together two buildings where three Beatles once did their learning,” Featherstone-Witty added. “I’m glad that this historic building will not become yet another boutique hotel or, yet again, turned into flats. It’ll be used for what it was intended — learning.”

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