The Grade 1 building, St George’s Hall is regarded as one of the finest neo-classical buildings in the world. The hall came about in the early 1800’s and served the needs of both the Civil and Crown Courts and the triennial music festivals. St George’s Hall stands 169ft long and 74ft wide with a tunnel and vaulted ceiling – the largest of its kind in Europe. It’s one of those incredible buildings I walk past most days in Liverpool but never explored inside until today! The contrast between the Greek exterior and Roman interior is fascinating and so unexpected. The arched roofs and beautiful stained glass windows you see inside are not visible from the outside; disguised and built around so not to interfere with the flat, box-like Greek architecture displayed to people passing by. It’s a bit bizarre to think you could attend a ball, listen to music and be tried for murder all in one building, but walking around and contemplating your surroundings, admiring the remarkable level of detail and the effort and dedication that would have been required to produce such magnificent results really makes you realise just how bland and, dare I say lazy modern architecture is. Will our buildings be preserved for centuries? Probably, but I certainly can’t imagine people walking around taking pictures of plain white walls and dull grey flooring in awe like I did today.
I’m not overly keen on Greek architecture; big slabs of heavy stone held up by columns just doesn’t seem ideal to me. Of course it’s sturdy and strong but I don’t understand how the concept ever came about as a good idea – the structure just seems flawed and less safe in comparison to other styles of architecture, and flat roofs trouble me a little bit for reasons I’m not quite sure of; perhaps I just don’t find them as aesthetically pleasing, but that doesn’t mean to say Greek buildings aren’t remarkable to look at.
Above is a gasolier found in the main hall – a decorative gas lighting piece which resembles a chandelier, with branches holding burners emanating from a central shaft, but is hollow to allow gas to be piped through. Sadly a camera phone doesn’t quite do this justice but it’s completed with these creepy looking faces (just my opinion, I hate statues and any realistic art I feel is watching me) and little ships – sticking to the theme of celebrating Liverpool being a commercial port. Of course I much prefer the pretty sparkly light shown in the next image up.
Above you can see the wooden floor which conceals a mosaic floor of 30,000 tiles! The floor is uncovered for a period of time in the summer – they tell us just after summer finishes, which is something I’d really love to see. I’ll put a photo in below to show what it would look like exposed, taken from http://www.artinliverpool.com – I will get my own next year! The hall is also home to a concert organ, complete with 7000 pipes.