Building of the Week
Completed in 1816, the Wellington Rooms is a neo-classical building on Mount Pleasant which were designed by Edmund Aitkin as the assembly rooms of the Wellington Club. Now more commonly known as the Irish Centre, it was the venue for high-society balls, college dances and parties and was at the heart of Liverpool life.
The Wellington Rooms closed in the 1920's, but remained a place of entertainment, becoming the Embassy Rooms, Rodney Rooms, the Rodney Youth Centre and the Irish Centre, which many people still know the building as today. The building closed in the late 1990s, when a property developer took over the lease. Attempts were made to renovate into a boutique hotel but planning permission was refused.
The residual portion of the developer's lease passed to the Crown in early 2011. Liverpool City Council, which owns the freehold of the site, has served a number of notices on the leaseholder. The Wellington Rooms was included in the Liverpool Echo's Stop the Rot campaign. A campaign is now under way to save the building and bring it back into use, and a local design practice have undertaken work to explore new uses; Dance Liverpool's dance centre and an office, function room, restaurant and University use.