Palm House was constructed in 1896, as a gift from Henry Yates Thompson to the City. It was designed by an Edinburgh firm, in the tradition of Paxton’s glass houses and was stocked originally with a rich collection of exotic plants.
At the beginning of World War 2 the building had been camouflaged in case the glass reflected the moonlight and act as a guide for warplanes. Matt oil paint was used on the outside of the building – grey paths were painted over the dome and the rest was colored green to blend with the surrounding parkland. In the blitz of May 1941 a bomb fell nearby and shattered the glass. It was re-glazed in 1950 and continued to be enjoyed by the people of Liverpool.
The Palm House was closed in 1980 on grounds of safety because the house was deteriorating. But in June 1992 a campaign named “Save the Palm House” started and 5000 people signed a petition that was presented to the City Council. A fund raising campaign was established and this led to the starting of Friends of Sefton Park Palm House (later Sefton Park Palm House Preservation Trust) charity.
The Palm House was re-opened in 2001 and I think it’s a popular visitor attraction with lots of events. It is a lovely and unique building.