Port of Liverpool Building

Port of Liverpool Building

Infobox building
building_name = Port of Liverpool Building
former_names = Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Building

caption = Port of Liverpool Buildings viewed from the Pier Head
location = Liverpool
coordinates =
architect = Sir Arnold Thornley
building_type =
architectural_style =
structural_system =
cost =
owner = Liverpool Dock Company
current_tenants =
start_date = 1903
completion_date = 1907
floor_area =
main_contractor =

The Port of Liverpool Building, sited at the Pier Head, in Liverpool, England, was designed by Arnold Thornley and built between 1904 and 1907. Outside, a dome caps the Grade II* listed building. Inside an octagonal hall rises to the dome, with galleries running around it. The building is one of the 'Three Graces' and was formerly known as The Dock Office until renamed in 1972.


The Port of Liverpool Building was constructed to be the head office of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, who transferred there from the Old Customs House on 15 July 1907.citeweb|url=http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/archive/displayGuide.aspx?sid=40&mode=html&sorStr=s_no%20ASC%200&serStr=&pgeInt=4&catStr=|title=Maritime Archives & Library: The Port of Liverpool Building|work=National Museums Liverpool Retrieved 1 February 2008 ] Constructed out of Portland stone, the building was designed in the style of Edwardian Baroque and has strong echoes of London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.

During the Blitz in 1941, a heavy bomb exploded in the basement, causing extensive damage to the eastern wing of the building. It was restored shortly after the war with the cost of reconstruction far exceeding the original construction costs.

In 1994, the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company relocated from the building, its home for 87 years, to new headquarters at Royal Seaforth Dock. They remained owners until 2001 when it was acquired by Liverpool-based property group Downing. The building is currently home to some of the most prestigious companies in Merseyside, including Rathbones.

Liverpool City Council approved Downing’s plans to refurbish the landmark building in October 2005. The scheme involved major internal and external works to restore the Grade II* listed building to its original glory. [citeweb|url=http://www.downing.com/sectors/index.cfm/include/viewNews/newsID/41/sector/1|title=Port of Liverpool Building: restoration plans|work=Downing Retrieved 20 November 2006] The plans included opening it to the public by creating a new viewing floor inside the dome, a publicly accessible sunken piazza on the riverside frontage -providing a small parade of restaurants, cafes and shops - and a series of luxury apartments on the rooftop.



External links

* [http://www.liverpoolworldheritage.com/visitingthewhs/areas/pierhead/portofliverpool.asp Liverpool World Heritage Site: Port of Liverpool Building]
* [http://www.sjsfiles.btinternet.co.uk/img0028.htm Port of Liverpool Building image and description]
* [http://www.liverpoolviews.co.uk/pierhead/portliverpool.html Port of Liverpool Building image]
* [http://jonathan.rawle.org/gallery/liverpool/port_building Port of Liverpool Building image]

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