It opened in 1911, as the headquarters of the Royal Liver Assurance Group. It was one of the first buildings in the world to be constructed in reinforced concrete, designed by Liverpool architect Walter Aubrey Thomas, who'd already delivered the steel framed Tower Buildings nearby. It was the tallest commercial building (excluding towers) in Europe until 1932, and the tallest in the UK until 1961, when the Shell Centre in London was completed.
The current owners are the Royal London Mutual Insurance Society, and they've got 19 tenants in the building, including ITV, HSBC and Princes Foods.
- The "Liver Birds" on top of the two cupolas were the work of German woodcarver and sculptor, Carl Bernard Bartels, who had settled in England and won a competition. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Bartels, like all Germans resident in Liverpool, was interned, despite the fact that he was naturalised. He was sent to a prison camp in the Isle of Man and all reference to his association with the building was erased. This was put right in 2008, when new commemorative plaques were installed in the ground floor atrium. After the war, Bartels was forcibly repatriated to Germany for a time, but came back and died in Harringay in 1955.