|Date||24 November 2013|
|Location||St George’s Place, Liverpool||SJ 34978 90640; 53.40854°N, 2.97959°W|
In the early 19th century there were calls for the building of a concert hall in the city centre to host Liverpool’s triennial music festivals. In 1838, in celebration of Queen Victoria’s coronation, the foundation stone of the new hall was laid on the site of the former Liverpool Infirmary, close to the newly opened Lime Street railway station.
The following year a design competition for the concert hall was won by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, a young London-based architect. Elmes also won a separate competition for the design of new law courts for the city. The two projects were later combined and Elmes produced a Greek- and Roman-inspired neo-classical design for St George’s Hall as a venue for concerts and also as home to the Crown and Civil courts. Construction of the hall started in 1841, but Elmes was never to see its completion, dying from tuberculosis in 1847. Charles Robert Cockerell took over as architect in 1851 and the building opened in 1854.
The courts moved to other premises in 1984, after which time the hall was neglected and fell into disrepair. A £23m programme to restore the Grade I listed building was started in 2000 and St George’s Hall was officially re-opened in 2007. It is currently home to Liverpool Register Office and a heritage centre, and it used as a venue for events such as concerts, conferences, exhibitions and receptions.