Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look today.
Our main image this week shows the Municipal Buildings on Dale Street in December 1947 – a time when Liverpool was recovering from the ravages of World War II.
Liverpool Corporation surveyor John Weightman started work on the Grade II listed buildings in 1862. The project was completed by the architect Edward Robert Robson in 1868.
The buildings were designed to house the growing numbers of civic administrative staff in Victorian Liverpool as trade increased and the city’s population grew.
The design of the Municipal Buildings shows French and Italian influences. It consists of three storeys surrounding a tower with a pyramidal spire, balconies, clocks and five bells.
A particular feature of the buildings are the 16 sandstone figures around the balcony. They represent the arts, sciences and industries of Liverpool, as well as the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe and America.
The Municipal Buildings were put up for sale in 2016 as they were proving too expensive to maintain. Property developers the Fragrance Group are behind plans to turn the former council offices into a luxury four-star hotel.
One of the street’s more unusual claims to fame is that Alois Hitler, the half-brother of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, once ran a restaurant there.
It is believed that Adolf himself may have stayed in Dale Street in 1913 when he was avoiding military service in his native Austria.
*Hundreds of pictures from an unforgettable decade are packed into Clive Hardy’s fascinating book Around Merseyside in the 1960s. It’s available at £9.99 plus postage and packaging.
Just go to inostalgia.co.uk to place your order or ring the hotline on 01928 503777.