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This World Heritage Day we’re taking a moment to appreciate Duke & Parr, a magnificent property steeped in Liverpool’s illustrious heritage and now a modern day triumph.

Duke & Parr comprises four separate buildings, each with its own story to tell. Notably, 105 Duke Street holds the distinction of being Liverpool’s First Public Library from 1852 to 1860 and was honoured with a grade II listing on March 14, 1975. Over the years, it underwent transformations, serving as part of a warehouse in 1865, before becoming the headquarters of Bibby Shipping with a number of 1990’s additions, including suspended ceilings hiding the past.  CERT acquired Duke & Parr in 2019, transforming it into the creative hub it is today.

The Past

World Heritage Day: Duke & Parr in Duke Street

Dating back to 1800, Duke & Parr was originally known as the Union Newsroom, standing proudly in the heart of Liverpool’s aristocratic trading region. Its evolution saw it house the Free Public Library and Museum in 1852, with a brick extension added to accommodate natural history collections belonging to the 13th Earl of Derby, laying the foundation for the Liverpool Museum. Later, it became the headquarters of Bibby Line Group, a shipping company synonymous with Liverpool’s maritime legacy.

The roots of the Ropewalks District, to which Duke & Parr belongs, trace back to the late 17th century when Liverpool’s maritime economy expanded. The area thrived with maritime industries, including Ropewalks, from which the district received its name.

The Present

Work in progress at Duke & Parr

Fast forward just under 225 years and Firesprite, a Sony company, now calls Duke & Parr home. Our full remodel was completed in 2022, sensitively restoring the part Grade II listed property across two adjoining buildings. The building is future proofed and at the forefront of the workplace revolution, providing a distinct and stimulating place to work, learn and socialise. Just like it always has stretching back to the 19th Century.

Recent renovations have stripped back the layers to reveal and celebrate the property’s natural beauty including hidden vaults, cavernous basements, a courtyard atrium, interconnected buildings and period details. Duke & Parr’s transformation has gained acclaim, earning nominations for prestigious property awards, including Property Week’s Property Awards, North-West Business Insider’s Commercial Property Awards, and the Liverpool City Region Property Awards.



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