The building

The Cunard Building was once the Headquarters and main passenger terminal for the world’s most famous shipping company, the Cunard Steamship Company. The building was constructed between 1914 and 1917 with the firm relocating from their previous headquarters situated at the junction of Water Street and Rumford Street on the adjacent side of the strand from Pier Head.

Image courtesy of Liverpool University library

The Cunard Steamship Company later merged with the White Star Line, the owners of the fateful Titanic, who were previously located within Albion House, situated close to the Merseyrail James Street Transport Interchange.

The Cunard Building acted as the central headquarters for the shipping line providing office accommodation, administration accommodation and ship designing facilities on the upper floors.

The lower floors of the building were utilised for passenger facilities both ahead of, and following, their departure/arrival on the Cunard passenger liners in Liverpool. A range of facilities were in place within the building including first, second and third class passenger waiting rooms and canteens, storage facilities for customers luggage and facilities for the Cunard employees based both on land and at sea.

Some of the company’s most famous ships included the Mauritania, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary, with a number of the Queen Mary’s technical records and drawings are held by the Liverpool University Special Collections And Archives department

Image courtesy of Liverpool University library

The Cunard Line vacated the building in the 1960’s, relocating to new headquarters in Southampton.

Merseyside Pension Fund purchased the property in November 2001, to add to their growing property investment portfolio. The building today is occupied by a range of public and private organisations playing an integral part within the developing Liverpool business community.

Various aspects of the history of the building are highlighted on this website, telling the story of the role the building has played within the city’s maritime and commercial development since the early 20th Century.

Find out more about the Cunard Building history