Who has the money to rescue a dilapidated gem such as Liverpool’s former Royal Insurance building? A big hotel chain, that’s who. And while they’ve done a nice job, the corporate touch is all too visible
In 2000, when the Liverpool Echo launched its “Stop The Rot” campaign to save the city’s dilapidated architectural gems, the Royal Insurance Building – now home to Aloft Liverpool – was identified as one of 16 important at-risk sites. You can see why.
From the beautiful inlaid floor in what is now the reception to the glazed tiles on corridors upstairs, there is gorgeous detail everywhere you look. Be it a stained glass window; the vertigo-inducing, circular stairwells that drop down beneath the building’s famous gilded dome; or its acres of wood panelling and stucco ceilings. Apparently, hundreds of people who once worked here have dropped by since it reopened at the start of November, to see how the building, abandoned in the 1980s, has been returned to its former glory.