The Gordon,Kirkdale Community Center, was constructed in 1886, was at first known as Gordon Working Lads Institute. It is thought to be Britain’s only surviving and retained Boy’s Club and set the standard for a few clubs that followed it over the next twenty years. The Institute was raised at a cost of £50,000 by William Cliff, a Liverpool broker, as a recognition to his eldest youngster who passed on at 11 years of age in 1853. The Institute was so named to respect and engender the memory of Major General Charles Gordon, who was killed in battle at Khartoum in 1885. The ethos of the Institute was to progress informative, recreational and shelter work spaces to poor and troubled young fellows of Liverpool and in so helping them to live ‘cheery and profitable lives’. This still remains the ethos of today and still stated on an expansive marble plaque in the vestibule.
The building closed in 1995 yet was reestablished in 2000 by a group of local residents with a action plan to provide the space again to young people. A £800,000 grant was surrended from the European Regional Development Fund which gave the best chance to the expansive revamping of some of the internal segments.
The Institute was made by Liverpool organizer, David Walker. It is of two stories with lofts and is worked of stock piece with red square dressings and a slate housetop. The layout is in a kind of North European Late Gothic style. It is of 9×5 bays with two straights at each end of the façade breaking forward under framed pinnacles. The windows have bended heads with outwardly impeded tracery in the tympana and little paned casements.