The House

This lavishly illustrated book charts the history of Belfast City Hall from its genesis in the ambitions of the municipal fathers, through to completion in 1906, and on into the twenty-first century. Over its hundred years of existence, the architectural landmark that is the City Hall has also acted as the civic centre of a frequently troubled city. It has been the forum for many extraordinary moments in Belfast's - and Northern Ireland's - history, from the signing of the Solemn League and Covenant in 1912 to the visit of former US president Bill Clinton as part of the Peace Process in 1995. The grounds of Belfast's City Hall are now so familiar to its citizens that its statues have become invisible sentries: Gillian McIntosh's book opens up the history of the building and allows readers from Belfast and beyond to see it in a new light in 2006, its centenary year.