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Victoria Square and the Council House - 1912

Council House

This view of Victoria Square and the Council House from around a hundred years ago gives the impression of being pedestrianised as it is today, though in fact the Council House was surrounded by roads and Victoria Square was criss-crossed by roads too, there was just a great deal less vehicular traffic, with cars still being something of a minority on the roads. The land for the Council House and Museum and Art Gallery was purchased in 1853, and in 1870 the Council finally agreed to build offices for the Corporation on the site. H R Yeoville Thomason was appointed architect in 1871. The Mayor, Joseph Chamberlain, laid the foundation stone in 1874. The building was completed in 1879, and at the opening ceremony 'dancing continued with vigour till midnight.' Only 20 years later an extension was needed; this was completed in 1912 and can be seen in the background, behind the Clock Tower.

Digital Birmingham Photo Archive
Libraries Photo Archive 1910s
Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service