The Transformation of 30 James Street

The Transformation of 30 James Street

Albion House

30 James Street is one of the most iconic buildings in Liverpool and at the heart of the cities maritime history.

Constructed between 1896 and 1898 by architects Richard Norman Shaw and J. Francis Doyle, Albion House became the home to the most famous shipping company in the world; White Star Line.

White Star Line were behind the ill-fated RMS Titanic and suffered a terrific downfall after a number of misfortunate events including the sinking of the Titanic ship which killed more than 1,500 passengers and crew members on her maiden voyage.

The Grand Hall within Albion House was used as the first class lounge and ticketing office for the White Star Shipping Company. This explains the grand architecture, high ceilings and large windows which offer stunning views of Liverpool’s waterfront and docklands.

But after the fall and merger between Cunard, Albion House was left derelict for a number of years.

White Star Grand Hall as Offices for White Star Shipping Company

Albion House, which is now known as 30 James Street- Home of the Titanic has been through some dramatic changes over the years, particularly since 2013 when the historic building was taken over by duo Lawrence & Katie Kenwright.

In 1941, during World War II, and the Liverpool Blitz, the city was severely bombed and damaged. Luckily, during these attacks 30 James Street was only minimally affect and the gable on Albion House was hit however it was rebuilt in the late 1940’s.

Albion House after the Blitz

On 28th June 1963, James Street was finally granted listed status, and in June 1985, Albion House was granted Grade II* listed status by the National Heritage List for England.

Following years of dereliction, and a short spell as commercial offices, Katie and Lawrence Kenwright had a dream to transform Albion House to its former glory and celebrate its history.

The couple behind Signature Living wanted to keep as many original features as possible which is why at the entrance on James Street you’ll find the original fine mosaic of South America, which is also a listed feature. There is furthermore a wooden war memorial at the front of the hotel which lists the members of staff who ‘Gave Their Lives for Their Country’ during the First World War.

During the time 30 James Street was offices, the hall was separated and covered up with plasterboard. This hid the stunning ceiling and was one of the first things Lawrence Kenwright endeavoured to restore.

Grand Hall during restoration

The White Star Grand Hall During Renovations


The Kenwright’s dreamed of creating a luxury hotel which encapsulates the history of the White Star Shipping Company as well as the RMS Titanic and the people.

Today, the White Star Grand Hall plays an integral role within the hotel often playing host to many incredible weddings and celebrations which are held throughout the year.

The Kenwright’s also had an astounding vision for the ninth floor.

They wanted to create an opulent dining experience which oozed luxury and offered an outdoor terrace which boasted stunning views of the city.

When the building was occupied by White Star Line, the top floor attic was used as the caretaker’s apartment. Katie and Lawrence transformed the dimly lit apartment into a magical restaurant inspired by RMS Carpathia – the ship which rescued all 705 surviving passengers.

Carpathia during restoration

Carpathia Terrace During Development

Carpathia Bar & Restaurant now

During the renovation period, a lot of original and historic artefacts were discovered- this is something which the Kenwright’s really wanted to preserve and feature through the hotel.

Carpathia was Liverpool’s first rooftop champagne bar & today it’s the home of many grand events and delicious meals all served with the backdrop of the famous three graces and breathtaking Albert Dock. The historic artefacts play a huge role in the restaurant and you’ll find them hidden around every corner.

The basement of the hotel, whcih was more likely used as a storage space for the sipping company, has been turned into a stunning, tranquil spa which features a 40 sq ft hydrotherapy pool, private bar, sauna and a number of treatment rooms.

James Street Spa

Each suite within 30 James Street – Home of the Titanic has an individual connection to the White Star Line and RMS Titanic. Each suite is intricately designed with stunning interiors, luxury amenities and modern furnishings which ensure that each and every guest feels like a first class passenger.

The story of 30 James Street has captured the hearts of not only the people of Liverpool but people around the world as visitor’s flock to this great city and to James Street to experience a piece of history.

We’re extremely proud of the transformation of 30 James Street and hope to welcome guests for many more years to come.

If you’d like to explore 30 James Street and the former headquarters of White Star Line, please get in touch with our team who will be happy to help.

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