Belfast City Hall is the civic building of the Belfast City Council. Located in Donegall Square, Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, it faces north and effectively divides the commercial and business areas of the city centre. Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. This was in recognition of Belfast's rapid expansion and thriving linen, rope-making, shipbuilding andengineering industries. During this period Belfast briefly overtook Dublin as the most populous city on the island of Ireland.