Stylish Civic Accommodation

Architects plans for the Municipal Buildings - Image from Leicestershire Record Office

Architects plans for the Municipal Buildings - Image from Leicestershire Record Office

The six storey Municipal Offices included a basement and caretaker´s flat on the top floor.  Clad along the three street frontages in Portland Stone, the building included main entrance doorways framed in bronze metal, many art deco features and furniture of oak and steel.  The Rates Hall on the first floor had an oak panelled finish to the walls. The building provided much-needed accommodation for the Electricity, City Treasurer´s (Rates Collection, Rating and Valuation, and Motor Registration), Housing, and Mental Deficiency Departments.

Notice of the opening of the Municipal Buildings

Notice of the opening of the Municipal Buildings

“This Long Sought-after and Wonderful Place”

The modest opening ceremony took place on 7th November 1938. In his speech the Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Acton, said it was a privilege to open “this long sought-after and wonderful place.”  A stone tablet to mark the event can be seen opposite the reception desk in the entrance foyer.

Entrance to the Rates Hall 1938 - Image from Leicestershire Record Office

Entrance to the Rates Hall 1938 - Image from Leicestershire Record Office

“A Handsome Addition to the Civic Architecture of the City”

The next day the Leicester Mercury reported that the buildings:

“are a handsome addition to the civic architecture of the city. They will help materially in the development of the great new thoroughfare …which may be taken as the symbol of the city´s modern growth.. This pile on Charles Street certainly matches the spirit that has lately distinguished our civic enterprise…”

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