Next time you're in the area, it's worth going to see this close-up. It is said that the constraints of the site - it is 210 feet tall and only 19 feet from the river wall - almost brought the architect, Herbert Rowse, to despair.
Unlike the ventilation buildings on the Liverpool side, which are faced with Portland stone to blend with their surroundings, the ones in Birkenhead are all brick. The brick is unusual, being 2 1/2" by 10" and was made specially for the three Birkenhead ventilation shafts. It is used in a variety of ways in order to produce the decoration. If you stand at a corner and look up, you can see the slight splay from the top of the decorative section to the base.