The earlies building (east front) was designed in 1854 by the Board engineer George Smith with a clock tower to regulate sailings. The second phase in 1895 (Corporation Square) contains the splendid public rooms; the modern office block was added in 1970.

The headquarters of the Harbour Commissioners, responsible for overseeing the development and running of Belfast Port, has on show the magnificent captain’s table and chairs which Gilbert Logan designed for Titanic, but which were delivered just too late (it is said they were subsequently shipped to Southampton, just in time to see Titanic disappear on the horizon). Lord Pirrie, himself a Harbour Commissioner, would have been a frequent, and persuasive, presence in the boardroom. Nearby, are two restored graving docks used by William Ritchie, Belfast’s first major shipbuilder.