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Leeds Town Hall and Victoria Square


Leeds Town Hall and Victoria Square
Description:
1894. This 1894 view of Leeds Town Hall shows the area around to be much different from how it is today. The Municipal Buildings, just to the right of the Town Hall, are still there, but other buildings on the right (the offices of Calverley Chambers and the Victoria Buildings) have since been demolished to make way for Victoria Gardens. The area in front of the Town Hall, known as Victoria Square and featuring a fountain and a statue of Wellington, has also disappeared, making space for a car park. The view is looking from Park Lane, as the road in front of the Town Hall was known then, with Oxford Place on the left and Calverley Street on the right of the Town Hall.

User Comments:

Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
It's nice to see the Town Hall in an age when its spacious frontage hadn't succumbed to the voracious demands of traffic.

Date:
25-Nov-2012

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
John Bean

Comment:
What is quite stunning, is the Town Hall was opened around 1858. But by the time of this photo only 36 years later, it's already 'Black'.

Date:
22-Oct-2014

Email:
beanj@btinternet.com

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Name:
Sheila Jubb

Comment:
I agree with Graham's comments. It is also nice to see a picture of the splendid Leeds Town Hall standing alone and not surrounded by hideous buildings that have now sprung up around it. I am not being critical about the buildings in the immediate vicinity, but when shown in a long range photograph the Town Hall is overshadowed by a mixture of inferior buildings.

Date:
22-Oct-2014

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
graham sadler

Comment:
Referring to Johns comment. Am I the only bloke in Leeds that preferred the town hall in black?

Date:
01-Mar-2015

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
With reference to Graham Sadler's comment:- You're probably not, Graham. No doubt you, like myself and many others, grew up during a time when the Town Hall was black. As for myself, I, just as I suppose many others did, thought that the Town Hall was actually supposed to be black. After all it was built in Victorian Times, and most people were aware of the long period of mourning by The Queen, and its subsequent effect on the population of Gt. Britain. Black was the 'in-thing' back then. Perhaps many, such as yourself, look back to that time with a kind of nostalgia. However! let's put things in perspective. When the Town Hall was built way back in the middle of the 19th century, it wasn't black. It was constructed with several different types of light coloured stone. We have to remember that it achieved that somewhat sombre colouring only because it had bathed in dense and invasive atmospheric pollution for over a hundred years. Giving it a good wash didn't come a moment too soon. However, when the clean-up was first suggested, I can recall that there were contra-arguments voiced in the local press. I remember one guy, who was adamant that that dark coating was protecting the building, and that removing it would only create and subsequently accelerate the erosion of the stonework. - - - The mind boggles. He couldn't have been more wrong. I'm not sure, but I seem to recall that he might have been a Council Member, or someone associated with the Council. Whoever he was, his argument was way off the mark. Let's imagine that he had got his own way. Would he have then suggested that all the houses in Leeds be smothered in soot? After all, it would protect all the brick and stone-work. The dwellings might last 'forever'. Just think of the money that would be saved by a grateful city. Perhaps he would have been remembered by a statue being erected to him. Mind you, if such a ridiculous thing had happened You can bet that he wouldn't have wanted his own stone likeness blanketed in soot like the rest of us. Thank goodness that common sense prevailed.

Date:
26-Sep-2015

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
SamW

Comment:
What happened to the fountain. Was it moved elsewhere in Leeds?

Date:
21-Jul-2017

Email:
Not displayed

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This photograph cannot be purchased due to copyright restrictions.