After the opening ceremony the key used to open the building went missing. Some 60 years later a couple a couple visiting Leeds for the first time from New Zealand returned the key to the Lord Mayor. They had found it among the effects of their late father, a banker, who had been executor to a former Lord Mayor. It remains a mystery just how it achieved its epic journey to the Antipodes but now, back in its rightful home, it is displayed in the Reception Hall.
Well-known for its impressive collection of civic buildings, Leeds Civic Hall is acknowledged as one of the finest in Britain. Almost triangular in shape, it was constructed on a sloping site of 7070 square metres (8460 sq. yds) and designed to gain the full benefit of light and air.
Faced with Portland Stone the building has a Roman Corinthian portico of six columns. Above are twin towers 52 metres (170 ft) high, on each of which perches an owl, one of the symbols of Leeds. The birds were cast in bronze and surfaced with gilt and were the work of the renowned artist Mr John Hodge. Each owl measures 2.3 metres (7ft 6in) and weighs 500 kilograms (half a ton).
Designed by architect Mr.E.Vincent Harris, the Civic Hall cost approximately £360,000 to construct and furnish. Prior to its construction the offices of the Lord Mayor and various other council departments were housed within the Town Hall together with the Courts. With the expansion of the City and its population, pressure grew for a further civic building to be erected to facilitate expansion within the council. Not able to afford the whole of the building costs from its own coffers the council, through a masterstroke, put to use monies awarded the city to help the local unemployed, by the Unemployed Grants Committee in Central Government. It is said that 90% of the workforce was taken from the local unemployment register.?
You are viewing panorama No.47 (Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall), one of 166 Virtual Reality 360 degree views of Leeds.
Map and aerial view of Leeds showing the location of Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall at Latitude 53.80089259259262 / Longitude -1.5489259259259.
We have visited Leeds on a number of occasions to produce this tour, this page was created on Fri, 6 Jan 2012 18:18:15 +0000.
5 Day, 10 Day, 15 Day long range weather forecast and current conditions for Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds