Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Restoration Of City Hall, Belfast

In the 18th century it was the cherry garden belonging to the original Belfast Castle, seat of the Earls of Belfast; then the White Linen Hall was built on the five acre site.

Since 1906 the site at Donegall Square has been the location of the finest Edwardian edifice Belfast has ever known, proud home to our city fathers. Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas used only the choicest materials in its construction, including £22,000 worth of Italian marble; £10,000 spent on carving and sculpture; and £7,000 on plasterwork. The total cost was in excess of £360,000, most of it raised from profits generated at the Belfast gasworks.

Portland stone was used to build the new city hall. The copper dome rises to a height of 173 feet; and the central, pedimented bay proclaims "Hibernia Encouraging And Promoting The Commerce And Arts Of The City".

The town of Belfast was granted city status by HM Queen Victoria in 1888 and the new City Council made immediate plans for a lavish city hall which reflected this status, the old town hall in Victoria Street being considered too prosaic.

It is most gratifying to see the restoration and imminent re-opening of the City Hall, Belfast's greatest building, following an £11 million pound refurbishment programme.

No comments :