Liverpool Town Hall, Castle Street
1749-54; 1789-92; 1795-1820
The present Town Hall, Liverpool's finest Georgian building, is the result of three building campaigns. The original design was by John Wood of Bath, and was built in 1749-54.
The work was supervised by his son John Wood the Younger. Additions and alterations were designed by James Wyatt and carried out by the elder John Foster in 1789-92; then, following a fire of 1795, it was reconstructed by Foster and Wyatt, the work continuing until c.1820.
It was built originally as an Exchange, with an open arcade on the ground floor around a courtyard where business was conducted, and rooms for civic functions above.
Wyatt added an extension to the rear, and his chaste Neo-Classical north elevation overlooking Exchange Flags contrasts with the Palladian character of Wood's earlier work, in particular the richly carved frieze to the east and west elevations, celebrating foreign trade.
Wyatt's dome was added in 1802, and the Corinthian south portico in 1811. Surmounting the dome is a Coade Stone figure of Minerva or Britannia made by John Rossi in 1801-2.
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