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Dock Traffic Office

1846-7
Grade I
 

Dock Traffic Office
The Traffic Office, with its unusual cast iron portico, is one of a number of building designs by Hartley in collaboration with the architect Philip Hardwick.

The original design was by Hardwick, but Hartley radically changed it by adding a second floor to it shortly after its construction. 

Both inside (where the 'light well' became an impressive hall) and outside, it was designed to impress and, like others of Hartley's lesser buildings, could be considered part of a 'corporate identity'. 

It is built of brick with red sandstone dressings. There are prominent battered chimney stacks with connecting arches. 

The most remarkable feature is the cast iron Tuscan portico and frieze. The four columns are 3.5m high, have a diameter of 1m at the base, and were cast in two halves and brazed together along their length. 

The architrave is 11.5m long and was made in a single casting, in the shape of a giant "U". Brazed onto the architrave is an iron cornice and pediment, consisting of seven separate castings. 

The building suffered prolonged dereliction, including structural damage, before being restored under the aegis of the Merseyside Development Corporation and re-opened as television studios.