View of the entrance to the Municipal Buildings on Calverley Street in 1903.
As Leeds grew in the latter part of the nineteenth century and there was an improvement in municipal services there became a need for more administrative accommodation. In 1876 a competition was announced to design a new building for this purpose. The winning entry was from Leeds man George Corson. This building was to prove Corson’s largest work. The Town Hall was a great influence on his designs as he determined that ‘the new buildings adjacent to the Town Hall should be similar in style to the Town Hall, but not identical in treatment.’
The building’s original design for the new public offices consisted of a block of buildings in Calverley Street extending up to Great George Street and including the School Board offices in the one building.
These designs were amended in 1879 and provided for two separate blocks of buildings divided by Alexander Street. This building was opened on 17th April 1884 by the Mayor Alderman Edwin Woodhouse and was described in 'The Yorkshireman' as 'Leeds Municipal Palace.'.