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elegant and magnificent edifice, which is of the Corinthian order of architecture. Its form is quadrangular, with a rustic basement, on which rises a range of columns and pilasters, having rich and finely finished capitals. Between the pilasters are handsome well proportioned windows, with semicircular heads. On the western, southern, and eastern sides, the spaces betwixt the capitals are ornamented with various designs, executed in bas-relief, emblematic of commerce. The whole is surmounted with a large and stately dome, in strict keeping with the rest of the building, and supporting a massive figure of Britannia in a sitting posture. The basement, or lowest floor, consists of a spacious kitchen, with suitable apartments appropriated to culinary purposes; and the next, or ground story, contains rooms for the mayor, committees, treasurer, the townclerk, and other officers appertaining to the body corporate. Until a short time ago, the sessions room was in the northern side of this story.
The principal entrance is through the portico facing Castle-street, which leads to a large and splendid staircase that is illuminated from above by means of lateral windows in the cupola, and so skilfully arranged as to produce a particularly grand and pleasing effect. A fine white marble statue of the late Right Hon. George Canning, by Chantrey, has been recently placed here. A double set of stone steps leads to the upper story,
and opens into the saloon, which measures 30 feet 6 inches by 26 feet 6 inches, and is 25 feet high. It is furnished in a most superb and costly manner, and ornamented with full-length portraits of his present majesty, William IV., when Duke of Clarence, by Shee, another of George III., by Sir Thomas Lawrence; one of the late king, George IV., when Prince of Wales, by Hopner; and another of the late Duke of York, by Phillips. This apartment leads to the drawing-room on the west, which is 32 feet 6 inches by 26 feet 9 inches, and 25 feet in height, and communicates with the banqueting-room, in which the mayor entertains his guests. This apartment is splendidly furnished, and its dimensions are 50 feet by 30 feet, and 25 feet high. Returning to the saloon, we enter the eastern drawing-room, which measures 30 feet by 27 feet, and is in height 25 feet, and it leads to the smaller ball-room on the eastern side, which is lighted by three handsome glass chandeliers; the measurement of this room is 61 feet by 28 feet, and 26 feet high. With this the grand ball-room communicates, extending the whole length of the north front, and being in dimensions 89 feet by 41 feet 6 inches, and 40 feet high. It is illuminated by three superb glass chandeliers, each having twenty-four gas burners. The ceilings of all this suite of rooms are arched, and adorned with pannels and
gilt mouldings, and the walls are decorated with pilasters, formed of scagliola, equalling in appearance the most finely polished marble. The capitals of the pilasters corresponding with the Corinthian order, are of plaster, and exquisitely finished.
Before the stranger leaves this magnificent pile, he ought to visit the gallery that surrounds the dome, and which is elevated nearly 120 feet from the foundation. If the weather prove favourable, he will be presented with a panorama of no ordinary diversity and beauty, and which will amply reward him for the fatigue he may have sustained in ascending. The bird's-eye view of the town will enable him to make himself familiar with the relative situations of the principal buildings. To the east may be perceived Everton, Low-hill, and Edge-hill; to the north the river will be seen terminating in the Irish sea, which will appear to blend with the sky in the far distant horizon; and on the west will be afforded a complete view of the river, bounded on the further side by the Cheshire coast, which is finely diversified by the villages of Woodside, Birkenhead, and Tranmere, and in the background the Welsh mountains may be observed soaring in the clouds.
THE NEW EXCHANGE BUILDINGS.
This magnificent structure next merits the
notice of the stranger. The first stone was laid on the 30th June, 1803, and the whole was finished on the 1st January, 1809, under the direction of the late John Foster, Esq., according to the designs of James Wyatt, Esq. The free stone of which is built is of an excellent quality, and was procured from the quarries in Toxteth Park, belonging to the Earl of Sefton. The whole expense amounted to £110,848, which was raised by subscription, in shares of £100 each, and £80,000 of this sum are stated to have been subscribed within a few hours after the books had been opened.
The Exchange Buildings consist of three sides, having three interior façades, the east and west facing each other, and the northern corresponding with that side of the Town Hall which is opposite to it, and which forms the fourth front, altogether enclosing an area that extends from north to south 197 feet, and from east to west 178 feet, making a quadrangle of 35,066 square feet, and being more than double the space occupied by the area of the London Exchange. The three façades are composed of a rusticated basement, which supports an elegant range of columns and pilasters, crowned with finely wrought Corinthian capitals, having an appropriate entablature and balustrade.
The central part of the north façade has a slight projection, 101 feet 8 inches in length, in
the centre of which is a superb recessed portico, 55 feet 5 inches wide, consisting of eight fine Corinthian columns, 25 feet high, and each made of one entire stone, surmounted by an entablature, on which are placed four figures, formed of Portland stone, and representing the four elements. In every respect this side corresponds with the northern front of the Town Hall, to which it constitutes a perfect counterpart. Its entire length from east to west is 177 feet 8 inches, and its height is 62 feet 4 inches. The east and west fronts are each 131 feet 2 inches in length, and 55 feet in height. A piazza, 15 feet wide, extends along each of the façades, and from it into the area there are openings under plain arches, which rise from massive piers. This affords a ready and convenient shelter from the inclemencies of the weather.
The south fronts of the east and west wings are elegant specimens of the Corinthian order of architecture; each is 60 feet high and 75 feet wide, having six colums and two pilasters rising on the basement, and supporting an entablature. It is to be regretted, that in consequence of the contiguity of the surrounding edifices, no complete view can be obtained of the south façades of the Town Hall and Exchange Buildings.
Opposite to Oldhall-street is a finely proportioned Doric front, consisting of four pilasters, an entablature, and a pediment, supported by