During the construction of the ‘Old Dock’, Duke Street was established as the main thoroughfare in the area – “The road to the Quarry”. At its south-eastern end it forms a junction with Berry Street and Great George Street which runs northwards. Beyond this junction the line of Duke Street is continued by Upper Duke Street. At its lower end Duke Street joins Hanover Street at its junction with Paradise Street and is connected to the Liverpool 1 development at this junction.
The growth of the Duke Street area commenced following the opening in 1715 of the Old Dock, or Steers Dock, which was located within the original pool and allowed secure moorings and access from the River Mersey. The opportunity that this afforded to the merchants of the town led to a demand for premises near to the Dock and its Customs House.
The Duke Street area, due to its proximity to the Dock, and the nature of its topography, with the land running uphill from the Dock, was at the forefront of the first speculators boom in Liverpool. As a result of its function as a through route, and in contrast with some of the narrow streets within the Henry Street area, the street has seen continued evolution and investment leading to a mixture of building types from different periods. These include 3 and 5-bay Georgian terraced houses that set the general scale of development on the street.
Public buildings such as the Union News Room (1852) at the junction of 105 Duke / Slater Street and later office and apartment buildings break away from this scale creating appropriate landmarks along the street.
Within the Duke Street area, a number of key buildings remain that help to define its history and character.