21 November 2015
Designed by local architects Ainsley Gommon for Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council as a landmark building, Birkenhead Park Pavilion was completed in 2005 and officially opened in 2006. The £1.2 million glass building, which houses a café, exhibition gallery and park offices, was created as part of an £11.25 million renovation, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, of the Victorian park.
Birkenhead Park itself is a 90-hectare Grade I listed landscape and opened to the public in 1847. It was the first civic park to be developed in Britain at public expense and was designed by gardener and architect Sir Joseph Paxton (1803-1865). Paxton is best known for his design of the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London’s Hyde Park. Birkenhead Park served as an inspiration for many subsequent public parks both at home and abroad. Features of the park were, for example, incorporated into the layout of New York’s Central Park, which opened in 1858, after a visit to Birkenhead in 1850 by its designer American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903).