Le Meridien Palace Hotel was originally built as the corporate headquarters for the Refuge Insurance Company eschewing the dominant Gothic Revival style of the day for an extravagant Baroque look complete with red brick and terracotta materials.
Alfred Waterhouse had designed the building so that almost the entirety of the ground floor was one big open banking hall, a Victorian equivalent of today's banking trading floors.
Rising directly above the Portland Stone arch, splitting the Oxford Road elevation into two in the process is a monumental clock tower 66 metres tall that is a later edition added to Alfred Waterhouse's design by his son Paul.
Once upon a time this display the neon lighting of the Refuge Insurance Company but these days reads Palace.
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