Leonard Cecil Howitt

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Leonard Cecil Howitt (1896 – 1964) – often referred to as L. C. Howitt – served in both World Wars and was Manchester City Council's chief architect from 1946 until he retired in 1961.

Manchester City Council Local government body in England

Manchester City Council is the local government authority for Manchester, a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. It is composed of 96 councillors, three for each of the 32 electoral wards of Manchester. The council is controlled by the Labour Party and led by Sir Richard Leese. The opposition is formed by the Liberal Democrats and led by former Manchester Withington MP John Leech. Joanne Roney is the chief executive. Many of the council's staff are based at Manchester Town Hall.



Leonard Howitt was born on 27 December 1896 in Islington, London. His parents were William Howitt, a type founder, and his wife Ada. After her husband's death in about 1910, Ada Howitt returned to Manchester with her son. Howitt died at his home in Brooklands, Sale on 20 May 1964 aged 67. He was survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. [1]

Type foundry company that designs or distributes typefaces

A type foundry is a company that designs or distributes typefaces. Before desktop publishing, type foundries manufactured and sold metal and wood typefaces and matrices for line-casting machines like the Linotype and Monotype machines designed to be used with letterpress printers. Today's digital type foundries accumulate and distribute typefaces created by type designers, who may either be freelancers operating their own independent foundry, or employed by another foundry. Type foundries may also provide custom type design services.


Howitt started work in the architect’s office at Manchester Town Hall shortly before the First World War. After war service, he attended the University of Liverpool School of Architecture from where he graduated in 1925. He then joined Herbert J Rowse Architects in Liverpool where he remained until 1934. He was part of the team that designed the Mersey Tunnel (Queensway) ventilation towers. He was appointed chief architectural assistant to Liverpool City Council's Director of Housing before returning to Manchester as deputy city architect in 1937. Howitt served in the army during World War II, rising to the rank of major. [1]

Manchester Town Hall municipal building in Manchester, England

Manchester Town Hall is a Victorian, Neo-gothic municipal building in Manchester, England. It is the ceremonial headquarters of Manchester City Council and houses a number of local government departments. The building faces Albert Square to the north and St Peter's Square to the south, with Manchester Cenotaph facing its southern entrance.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

University of Liverpool School of Architecture

The School of Architecture is an architecture school in Liverpool, England, and part of the University of Liverpool. It was the first architecture school in the United Kingdom to be affiliated with a university, and the first to have degree programmes validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), in 1895. Six RIBA Gold Medallists have been staff or graduates of Liverpool. The School was initially an important centre for the Arts and Crafts movement, but later promoted Classical and Modernist ideas under the influence of Charles Herbert Reilly.

In 1945 Howitt returned to Manchester as acting city architect. The following year he was appointed city architect, a position he held until he retired in 1961. He designed many schools, colleges and other buildings for the corporation and was responsible for reconstructing the Free Trade Hall after it was damaged in the Manchester Blitz. He designed the Courts of Justice (1957-1962), Hollings College (1957-1960). Other than schools, few buildings erected during Howitt’s tenure as city architect survive. His 1974 Terminal Building at Manchester Airport was remodelled by his successor, Sidney George Besant-Roberts. Other surviving buildings are Hollings College, Heaton Park Reservoir Pumping Station (1955), Wythenshawe Fire Station (1957), Blackley Crematorium (1959), [2] Wythenshawe Bowls and Tennis Pavilion (1960) [3] and the Manchester Courts of Justice. [4] After retiring from the corporation in 1961 he entered private practice in Manchester in partnership with Leonard J Tucker. [1]

Free Trade Hall public hall constructed in 1853–6 on St Peters Fields, the site of the Peterloo Massacre and is now a Radisson hotel

The Free Trade Hall on Peter Street, Manchester, England, was a public hall, constructed in 1853–56 on St Peter’s Fields, the site of the Peterloo Massacre. It is now a Radisson hotel.

Manchester Blitz

The Manchester Blitz was the heavy bombing of the city of Manchester and its surrounding areas in North West England during the Second World War by the German Luftwaffe. It was one of three major raids on Manchester, an important inland port and industrial city; Trafford Park in neighbouring Stretford was a major centre of war production.

Toast Rack (building) Grade II listed building in Manchester, UK

The Toast Rack, or formerly known as the Hollings Building, is a Modernist building in Manchester, England. The building was completed in 1960 as the Domestic Trades College, became part of Manchester Polytechnic then Manchester Metropolitan University until closure of the "Hollings Campus" in 2013. It was designed by the city architect, Leonard Cecil Howitt and is known as the Toast Rack due to its distinctive form, which reflects its use as a catering college.

Howitt became a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in March 1942, served on its council for twelve years and was its vice-president from 1956 to 1958. He was president of the Manchester Society of Architects from 1955 until 1957 and served on other professional bodies. [1]

Royal Institute of British Architects professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally, founded for the advancement of architecture under its charter granted in 1837 and Supplemental Charter granted in 1971.

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