This was originally the Laird School of Arts, the first public art school outside London, and the first ever purpose built college of art and science in England which opened in September 1871. John Laird not only financed its construction but the also running costs and it was given to the town of Birkenhead. Laird is most famous as part of the shipbuilding company Cammell Laird but he was also a great philanthropist and endowed many of the fine buildings in Birkenhead, would become its first mayor of and then retire from shipbuilding to become Birkenhead's first Member of Parliament.
The school closed in 1979 and the building was purchased by Stanton Marine to use as their headquarters when it was extensively renovated and renamed The John Laird Centre. Stanton Marine later became part of the British East India Company who now use the building as their headquarters which is rather appropriate, and perhaps the building has come full circle, because Cammell Laird built most of their ships in the 19th Century.
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at J here