The initial idea of the Hall was conceived by Liverpool citizens, who wanted a space for the city’s triennial music festivals. During this same period, a venue was being sought for the Civil and Crown Courts and it was decided that architect, Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, would design one building to serve all needs.
Eventually opening in 1854, St George’s Hall is a unique venue in concept and design, and has undoubtedly become a barometer of the city’s status; having been introduced by the Victorians as an ostentatious display of architecture when Liverpool was thriving, the Hall dazzled locals and visitors until harder times hit the city during the 1980s, when it fell into a state of disrepair and lay derelict for over two decades.
Following a £23m restoration project, the Hall was reopened on St George’s Day in 2007 by Prince Charles, and has become a grand focal point for cultural, community, civic, corporate and performing arts activities once again.
More importantly though, the Hall has sealed its status as the emotional heart of Liverpool, where memorable moments of the city’s life converge; from commemorative Remembrance Services and vigils, to celebratory occasions such as Liverpool Pride marches and The People’s Opening for European Capital of Culture back in 2008.