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History of the Harbour Office

Since 1847, the Harbour Office has been the headquarters of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners.

The first section of the building, designed by the Commissioners' engineer George Smith was opened in 1854 and erected at a cost of £8,000. A subsequent extension, by the celebrated Belfast architect William Henry Lynn, was completed in 1895 at a cost of £14,349. The style of architecture reflects that of an Italian palazzo.

Of particular interest, on entering the building, are the marble mosaic floors in the ground floor reception area and in the first floor lobby. Also noteworthy are the impressive stained glass windows depicting industry, commerce and enterprise, together with the coats of arms of the many ports and cities with which Belfast traded in the past.

Current Use

As regards day-to-day life within the building, the ground floor is currently used as office accommodation, whilst the grandiose rooms on the upper floor are reserved for business meetings, including the Commissioners' monthly board meeting and various special functions related to Belfast Harbour's Corporate Responsibility Programme.  These rooms, heavily ornate in typical Victorian fashion, also provide an appropriate setting for the Commissioners' impressive fine art collection. Belfast Harbour remains committed to maintaining the building's historic fabric in its original glory.