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The Municipal Buildings - a history tour


Carving detail on the ground floor

‘ Marble, gold, colour, carvings, stained glass and granite, artistically combined are to be found in profusion in what may not inaptly be termed the Leeds Municipal Palace.’ It has an ‘artistically designed façade, in best made Yorkshire stone, which will be lasting credit to Mr George Corson and the inhabitants of Leeds……There is nothing finer in architectural effect in the whole of Leeds than the central hall of the building.’ (The Yorkshireman, 19/4/1884)

‘The building is in Italianate style with the front of the building on Calverley Street particularly ornate. The front has three projecting bays which have pyramidal roofs and balustraded parapets, and the first and second floors are enriched by plain and futed pilasters of the Corinthian order…’
(T. Butler Wilson – Two Leeds Architects)

The building was constructed of Yorkshire stone from the local quarries at Dacre Bank, Harehills, Meanwood and Weetwood. Corson was a perfectionist and instructed the contractors in how to dress and lay the stones to minimise weathering. The roof is made of Westmoreland slate.

The entrance steps are made of Shap granite with its distinctive large pink feldspar crystals. The Calverley Street entrance has four granite pillars and the entrance hall is decorated with Caen stone from Normandy. The pillars in the foyer are made from Devonshire marble and the doors leading to the stairwell have alabaster surrounds. Stained glass windows can be seen in the entrance hallway.

Carving detail on the ground floor
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