Bluecoat's distinctive architecture marries the old with the new. The oldest building in central Liverpool and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, its Queen Anne style (though it was actually built after her death) is a fine example of late English baroque architecture. The first occupants, the Liverpool Blue Coat School (or Hospital), expanded for nearly two centuries, adding or replacing parts of the original building, while retaining its capital H shape and front façade features. Further renovation took place when the building formally became an arts centre in 1927. Severely damaged in Liverpool May blitz of 1941, Bluecoat was restored again, reopening in 1951, with further repairs that decade. The most recent changes saw a complete refurbishment and addition of a new arts wing in 2008. This collection comprises material - maps, drawings, photographs and documents - relating to this history and the presence of architectural practices in the building since the early 20th century.

Image: Architects inspecting cornices for the post-war repairs to the building in 1955.

2017

Who built Bluecoat?

1717

The Back Front of the Charity School

1718

The North Prospect of the Charity Schoole at Leverpoole

1909

Liberty Buildings

1910

Architecture students' drawing room

1980

Bluecoat's historic wooden staircase

1930

Charles Reilly and students in fancy dress at University of Liverpool Architecture Department party at Bluecoat

2006

The changing Bluecoat footprint

1941

Front Elevation

1941

East Wing from Hanover Street

1980

Stairs to old Concert Hall

1955

Post-war repairs to Bluecoat

1951

Concert Hall post-war restoration

1955

New stonework

1947

Sir Peter Shepheard, rendering for restoration

1980

Bluecoat from Church Alley

1717

Bluecoat's oval windows

1980

The Sandon Music Room

1717

Bluecoat's cherubs

1717

Bluecoat entrance with liver bird

1995

Bluecoat handrails

1994

Arial View of Bluecoat

2008

The new arts wing

1980

Liverpool Architectural Society

1955

Stephenson, Young & Partners, architects

1960

Architects Hall, O'Donaghue and Wilson

2017

Emily Harris: An unpublished set of drawings of the Bluecoat, 1937-1947. What do they reveal in the tercentenary of the UK’s first Art Centre?

1990

Andrew McDonald, Arch

2017

Architecture students' exhibition

2017

Echo of the Past Bluecoat by Edmund Tan

2002

Bluecoat Conservation Plan