As city centre districts go, this one is relatively small: a cluster of buildings along a cobbled street, with Lime Street Station at the top and the Queensway Tunnel entrance at the bottom. But what it lacks in size, this chunk of Scouse real estate makes up for in kerb appeal: the buildings along William Brown Street are an integral part of Liverpool’s World Heritage Status.
Dominating them all is the neo-classical grandeur of St. George’s Hall, a neo-Grecian building that includes an immense Great Hall, with a tunnel-vaulted roof above and an original Minton tiled floor, made from around 30,000 individual tiles, below. It’s here that Liverpool gathers at times of protest, celebration and remembrance; in September 2012, for example, 10,000 people paid their respects to those who died during the Hillsborough disaster.
The buildings lining William Brown Street have the same restrained classicism of the hall. Among them are the Walker Art Gallery, a petite but perfectly formed art gallery that’s home to the annual John Moores Painting Prize, the World Museum, Liverpool’s Central Library (which reopened in 2013 after a £50 million facelift), and the County Sessions House.
Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool prepares to present its blockbuster exhibition of 2019, dedicated to the life and work of the Glaswegian artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh – father of the UK’s part in the international Art Nouveau movement.