”When I heard Albion House was vacant I was worried about it rapidly becoming dilapidated and difficult to rescue. Lawrence’s Signature hotel style is very appropriate for a building and a town rich in maritime history, of which the Ismays and White Star Line were a big part. I applaud what Lawrence is doing as it will bring the building back to life. I am fine with his reassurance that the Titanic aspect will be handled tastefully and with respect to those who lost their lives,” Clifford Ismay
The Albion House, former White Star Line headquarter, will be turned into Titanic themed hotel. The building was empty for the last three decades. The Albion House is Grade II* listed in the English Heritage.
In August 2013 Lawrence Kenwright, Signature Living co-founder,bought the building for £1.6m with the intention to make it a Titanic themed hotel,part of the upmarket Signature Living Hotel.
The luxury aparthotel should welcome his first visitors by April 2014. The closest Thomas Ismay descendant, Clifford Ismay, has already gave his blessing to the ambitious project of turning the White Star headquarter into Titanic themed hotel.
The Albion House
”It closely resembles a high-powered part Loire chateau and part Hanseatic warehouse. It’s impressive and lively – typical of Shaw’s work and the first of the true 20th century style buildings in the city. These were the new generation of giant office blocks which were to transform the appearance of the world’s great cities,” Prof Quentin Hughes, late architectural historian
The Albion House is located in Liverpool, at the James Street and The Stand corner. The Pier Head is just across from ”30 James Street”. The White Star Building is listed in the English Heritage as Grade II* .
Richard Norman Shaw and J. Francis Doyle designed the building for the Ismay, Imrie and Company shipping company. The construction works of the future Titanic themed hotel building were in the period 1896-1898.
The White Star Building resembles Shaw and Doyle earlier work – the building of New Scotland Yard in London, built in 1887. The Titanic themed hotel will inherit the South America’s fine mosaic set into the floor at the entrance.
The Albion House facade is made of red brick and white Portland stone. The White Star Line officials read the names of the Titanic disaster victims from the balcony on the first floor. The gable was damaged during the World War II but in the 1940s it was rebuilt.
The Albion House remained headquarter of White Star (even merged with Cunard) till 1927. Now, it will be converted into Titanic themed hotel by Signature Living.
Titanic Themed Hotel Project
”When designing this hotel I have tried and hopefully succeeded in not creating a Hotel that resembles a museum. My view was to create a Hotel that has never been created before, a hotel with a history like no other, each room will be totally bespoke, with a definitive history specific to that room. The historical past that alines itself to 30 James Street, is breathtaking,” Lawrence Kenwright
The Kenwrights bought the 11-floor ”30 James Street” for £1.6 million. The Titanic themed hotel should open doors by April 2014 under the name Signature Living Hotel – Home of the Titanic. Initially it will works only at the weekends.
The building stayed empty for 5 years and but its bedraggled did not scare Lawrence Kenwright.
The project of the Titanic themed hotel will start with removing all previous owner changes. The idea is to stick to the original features of the English Heritage.
There will be a large terrace with view over Liverpool. The guest will see World Heritage Site, Albert Dock and the River Mersey.
Signature Living Hotel – Home of the Titanic will have a wedding venue, perfect way to fill all the capacity of the hotel. The hotel should have Titanic’s first class staircase replica. The theme will focus mainly on the greatest love story, not the disaster negativity.
The investment in the Titanic themed hotel is estimated to £7 millions and the boutique-style hotel will bring the Albion House back to life.