Royal Liver Building

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The Royal Liver Building stands on the Pier Head and it is one of the most notable landmarks of Liverpool. It is the head office for the Royal Liver Friendly Society. It is one of the Three Graces (together with Port of Liverpool Building and Cunard Building). It is Grade I listed building.

The architect of the Royal Liver Building was Walter Aubrey Thomas. The construction started on 11 May 1908 and was completed in 1911. Edmund Nuttall built the building. It is 90 metres (295 feet) tall and has 17 floors. It was one of the earliest examples of multi-storey reinforced concrete construction. It is reputed to be the Gothic inspiration for both the Manhattan Municipal Building in New York and the Seven Sisters in Moscow.

The building has two clock towers. The clocks are 7.62 metres (25 feet) in diameter, 76 metres (250 feet) above street level, so the mariners from passing ships could see the time. Their original name was George clocks, because they started exactly at the same time as King George V was crowned (22 June 1911). In 1953, electronic chimes were installed as a memorial to the members of the Royal Liver Friendly Society who died during the two World Wars. The clock dials are illuminated at night.

On the top of each of the towers, there stands the mythical Liver Bird designed by Carl Bernard Bartels and made by George Cowper and the Bromsgrove Guild. They are 6 metres high. It is said, that if one of them fly away the city would cease to exist, so they are chained to the domes upon which they stand.
There are some more legends connected with them. According to one of them, one bird is looking out over the city to protect it and its people, the other one, looking out to sea at the new sailors coming to the port. Locals claim that the inland-looking bird is male checking if the pubs are open and the sea-looking is female waiting for handsome sailors.
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