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24 September 2014
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History of the Hall
Lithograph by W.G. Herdman from a design by John Foster
Before the building began.

St George’s Hall opened its doors to the public in 1854, over 10 years after it was commissioned. It’s been a central feature of Liverpool’s architecture ever since, and has been called The best example of Neo-Classical architecture in Europe’.

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After the courts moved in the 1980’s to their current buildings, St George’s Hall was left unloved, unused and under funded for nearly 20 years. Then in the early 1990’s money began to trickle in to attempt to repair the crumbling building.It is soon to be closed in parts for complete refurbishment to return it to its former glory.

Before the hall was built the site was occupied by the first Liverpool Infirmary from 1749 to 1824. It also included a Seaman's Hospital, Medical Library and Lunatic Asylum. The seaman's hospital was mainly supported by a levy of sixpence a month, which was deducted from the pay of the seamen sailing in the ships registered in Liverpool.

The foundation stone of St George's Hall was laid in 1838 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria, but the actual building of the hall did not start until 1842.

The idea for the hall came from Liverpool citizens who were concerned about the lack of a place for the triennial music festivals. To fund it a subscription list was set up with shares available at £25 each and by January 1837 £23,350 had been raised.
However as usual, when building work commenced it went over budget.

At the same time a venue was being sought for the Civil and Crown Courts and fortuitously the same architect was employed to design both buildings so it was decided that one building would serve all needs.

It is possibly the only building where you could be tried for murder, have a ball or listen to a concert all under one roof.

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