The Liverpool Town Hall is a Grade I Listed Building built in a striking style of architecture. Designed by John Wood, the Elder, the first stone of the building was laid in 1749, and the hall was opened in 1754. It is the Official Residence of Liverpool's Lord Mayor.
It is an elegant stone building, having two fronts; one towards Castle Street, the other towards the area formed by the New Exchange Buildings. Each front consists of an elegant range of Corinthian columns, supporting a pediment, and are themselves supported by a rustic base. Between the capitals are heads, and emblems of commerce in basso-relievo; and on the pediment of the grand front is a noble piece of sculpture representing Commerce committing her treasures to the race of Neptune.
The ground floor was originally intended as an Exchange for the accommodation of the merchants, with insurance offices adjoining but was never used for that purpose, the merchants preferring to meet in the open street opposite the building. Since its erection a large addition was made to it on the north side, and some progress had been made towards extending and improving the rooms and offices within the building, when a fire in 1795 destroyed the whole of the interior.
Following the fire, Liverpool corporation determined to rebuild the interior with a new and extended plan, and to appropriate the whole of the building for:
All the offices, rooms, and passages, on the basement and ground stories, are now arched with brick, as a security against any future fire.
The Exchange Buildings form three sides of a quadrangle, 194 feet by 180 in the clear space, with arcades or piazzas in front. The whole building is now in a common style of architecture corresponding with that of the north front of the Town Hall and Old Exchange, which forms the fourth side of the square at the head of Castle Street.
The east side of these buildings on the ground floor, contains a coffee-room, 94 feet by 52, with appropriate rooms and offices for the keeper, &c.; on the second story over the coffee-room, is a room for the under-writers, upon the principle of Lloyd's in London, 72 feet by 36: a second room, 69 feet by 29, with several other rooms attached to them. The north and west sides of these buildings are brokers' and merchants' offices, and counting houses. In the centre of the area is erected an elegant group of statues form the Nelson Monument in commemoration of Admiral Lord Nelson.