The History of The Irish Centre formally known as Wellington Rooms
This, currently derelict building, is a Neo-classical building built in the centre of Liverpool. Construction began in 1815 and was completed a year later under control of the Architect Edmund Aikin. Originally designed as a subscription assembly room for the Wellington Club it was used to house exclusive parties and ballroom dances for the wealthy and upper class. In the early 1900’s the property became the Assembly Club and between 1923 and 1940 provided accommodation for tea dances and wedding functions. As with many other large old buildings Wellington rooms was repurposed during WWII, used as a base for the Rodney Youth Centre and suffered bombing damage in 1941. Fortunately, the main assembly room, which remains relatively untouched to this day, escaped free from any irreparable damage. I struggled to find any details of what then happened to the building until 1965 when it became the Irish Centre as it is popularly known today. Under its most recent ownership, the building was host to music and drama performances as well as being a base for various clubs and societies in the area.
The Irish Centre finally fell empty in 1997 at which point the exterior of the frontage was already suffering from deterioration which has only become worse. Following abandonment, serious water damage and rot have set hold despite a number of attempts to complete emergency repairs the building is gradually getting worse.
The site became a Grade II* listed building in 1999 shortly after becoming derelict and is currently in the hands of property developers. Various proposals have been put forward to the council in respect of development works to the site with mixed responses. The Council appears to want to retain the function of the property preserving as much as possible the original features, as such an application to create a function suite was approved but never followed up, however, a subsequent application to convert the building into a hotel with a 3 story extension at the rear was declined. The future of the Irish Centre remains uncertain, for now, enjoy the photos below.
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