Exchange Building- Liverpool, UK

Gunton & Gunton
Date Built
Chapel Street
The Exchange Buildings, on Chapel Street between Rumford Street and Exchange Street East, is the third exchange building on this site, the previous versions being built in 1808 and 1864.  This version, designed by Gunton and Gunton, was completed in 1937.  The English Heritage listing information describes the building as, " ... stripped classical, with a combination of stepped flat roofs and mansard roofs. Eleven storeys, with eleven-bay central range aligned east-west ..........

........  and with eight-bay advanced wings reducing to four storeys in height to the three southernmost bays."

"The present building, ... was adapted during the course of construction, with the creation of a bomb-proof bunker in the basement of Walker House (formerly Derby House) to house a military command headquarters. ....

.... From this facility, which became known as the Western Approaches Command Headquarters, the campaign against the German submarine fleet in the Atlantic during World War II was planned and directed, under the command of Admiral Sir Max Horton who oversaw the Battle of the Atlantic, one of the pivotal campaigns of the war. ..... Former military command headquarters in basement of Walker House constructed on two levels, with over 100 rooms occupying almost 50,000 square feet of space. The complex is designed around a full-height central operations room, with surrounding storeyed sections containing facilities for both Royal Navy and Royal Air Force staff, including teleprinter rooms for both services, a telephone exchange, coding and de-coding rooms, radio room and security facilities. There is also an emergency generator room, which was powered by a diesel engine from a German World War I submarine. The main office floors and receptions of Walker House and Horton House were remodelled and refurbished in the late C20 and 2007 and are not regarded as of special interest."

The building and the square behind it, known as Exchange Flags, feature a number of sculptures.

Below you can see a World War I War memorial set into a semi-circular niche in the centre of the  main south elevation.   It features Britannia, sheltering a young girl under her cloak, standing above a group of soldiers and a nurse arranged around a field-gun.  The war memorial is flanked by two columns.  On the top of one is a mother and child and on top of the other a father and child.  They were carved from Portland stone by Siegfried Charoux.

The dominant feature of the Exchange Flags is the Nelson Memorial designed by Matthew Cotes Wyatt and executed by Richard Westmacott.

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