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Engraving of the new Municipal Buildings

Engraving of the new Municipal Buildings
1884. An 1884 engraving of the new Municipal Buildings, designed to concentrate all the administrative council departments of Leeds under one roof. The competition for the new public offices had been announced in 1876, and the £300 prize was won by George Corson, the Dumfries-born architect who joined his brother's practice in leeds in 1849. In 1879 his design was amended to separate the building from the neighbouring School Board offices, which were opened in 1881. The Municipal Buildings were opened by the Mayor, Edwin Woodhouse, on 17th April 1884. The whole of the south side was taken up by the Central Library, which moved from its original premises, the Old Infirmary in Infirmary Street, in June of that year. It was thought at the time that "the space provided for the library in the Municipal Offices would be adequate for the requirements of a Central Library for at least twenty years" although the scheme was criticised for having the lending and reference departments at the top of the building. The City Museum began its move into the old Police Department in 1966, but a report by the City Engineer on the structural instability of the building delayed the opening of the museum until the 6th November 1969.

User Comments:

Graham A. Schofield

When looking at this engraving, one must wonder as to how much thought, time and effort must have gone into the finished design of this exterior. 'From end to end' - 'From top to bottom', everywhere you look, there is some feature to catch the eye. Nearly all buildings from this, and previous eras, seem to create an aura in which boredom and mundanity do not exist - cannot exist. The eye is is treat to a feast of decorative splendour. How is it that we have allowed our modern world to descend into a mire of 'Corporate Sameness' ???




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