Belfast City Hall - May 2012
Belfast City Hall is Belfast City Council's civic building and it is one of my favorite buildings in Belfast. It is located in Donegall Square, in the heart of Belfast city centre.
As you can see from my photographs it is a busy time for the City Hall as they are preparing for the Queen's Jubilee (this weekend) as well as a free outdoor concert to celebrate the Olympic Torch tour of Ireland Ireland.
The site now occupied by Belfast City Hall was once the home of the White Linen Hall, an important international Linen Exchange. The Street that runs from the back door of Belfast City Hall through the middle of Linen Quarter is Linen Hall Street.
Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. This was in recognition of Belfast's rapid expansion and thriving linen, rope-making, shipbuilding and engineering industries. During this period Belfast briefly overtook Dublin as the most populous city on the island of Ireland.
Construction began in 1898 under the supervision of architect Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas and was completed in 1906 at a cost of £369,000. Belfast Corporation (now the council) used their profits from the gas industry to pay for the construction of Belfast City Hall.
Local firms H&J Martin and WH Stephens were among the companies involved in construction. James G. Gamble, architect, was the clerk of works.
The city hall in Durban, South Africa is almost an exact replica of Belfast's City Hall.It was built in 1910 and designed by Stanley G. Hudson, who was inspired by the Belfast design. The Port of Liverpool Building, designed by Arnold Thornley and completed in 1913, is another very close relative.
On August 1, 2006 the city hall celebrated its centenary with a "Century Of Memories" exhibition and family picnic day.