1a Bold Street,
The Lyceum Building
At the foot of Bold Street on the left is the Lyceum. It was designed by Thomas Harrison in the Greek-Revival style and built 1800-2 for use as a gentleman’s club, and intended to house both the Liverpool Library and a news room. Among its founders were men such as William Roscoe, keen abolitionists with a desire to avoid the places frequented by merchants involved in the slave trade.
In the early 1960s S. Reece and Sons had a cafe in the Lyceum and according to the Beatles’ promoter Sam Leach the group would while away the time in here as an alternative to the Kardomah, leaving behind the scraps of lyrics and doodles they’d scribbled on the napkins.
In 1979 plans were drawn up for the demolition of this fine building to make way for a multi-departmental retail store on the adjacent site of the old Central station. It was saved in the July of that same year following the intervention of Environment Secretary Michael Heseltine who decided it would be purchased with public funds so that it could be rapidly restored. Unfortunately following various failed enterprises, including a Post Office, a bar and a restaurant, the Lyceum is presently not in use though its future seems secured.
Follow The Merseybeat Road, by Sam Leach (1983)