Manchester Town Hall Extension

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Town Hall Extension
Town Hall Extension Manchester.jpg
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Town Hall Extension
General information
TypeMunicipal building
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Location Manchester, England
Coordinates 53°28′43″N2°14′39″W / 53.4786°N 2.2443°W / 53.4786; -2.2443 Coordinates: 53°28′43″N2°14′39″W / 53.4786°N 2.2443°W / 53.4786; -2.2443
Construction started1934
Owner Manchester City Council
Technical details
Floor count8
Design and construction
Architect E. Vincent Harris
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameManchester Town Hall Extension
Designated3 October 1974
Reference no. 1197917

Manchester Town Hall Extension was built between 1934 and 1938 to provide additional accommodation for local government services. It was built between St Peter's Square and Lloyd Street in Manchester city centre, England. [1] English Heritage designated it a grade II* listed building on 3 October 1974. [2] Its eclectic style was designed to be a link between the ornate Gothic Revival Manchester Town Hall and the Classical architecture of the Central Library.

St Peters Square, Manchester

St Peter's Square is a public square in Manchester city centre, England. The north of the square is bounded by Princess Street and the south by Peter Street. To the west of the square is Manchester Central Library, Midland Hotel and Manchester Town Hall Extension. The square is home to the Manchester Cenotaph, the Emmeline Pankhurst statue, and St Peter's Square Metrolink tram stop and incorporates the Peace Garden. In 1819, the area around the square was the site of the Peterloo Massacre.

Manchester city centre central business district of the City of Manchester, England

Manchester city centre is the central business district of Manchester, England, within the boundaries of Trinity Way, Great Ancoats Street and Whitworth Street. The City Centre ward had a population of 17,861 at the 2011 census.

English Heritage charity responsible for the National Heritage Collection of England

English Heritage is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses. The charity states that it uses these properties to ‘bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year’.



The refurbished Rates Hall in 2014 Manchester Town Hall Extension Rates Hall.jpg
The refurbished Rates Hall in 2014

The Town Hall Extension, housing municipal departments including rates, rents and street cleaning departments, was built after a competition in 1927 was won by E. Vincent Harris who, in the same year, won a competition to build Manchester Central Library on an adjacent site. [1] The building, built by J. Gerrard & Sons Ltd of Swinton, is essentially Gothic in character, with ornately carved tracery and a steeply pitched roof interpreted in a contemporary style. The building was started after the Central Library was completed and originally had a rates hall, gas and electricity showrooms on the ground floor; a cinema was built at basement level and on the first floor is a council chamber. The building cost £750,000 and was opened by King George VI in 1938, the occasion commemorated by a carved inset stone at the Mount Street end. [3]

Manchester Central Library public library in Manchester

Manchester Central Library is the headquarters of the city's library and information service in Manchester, England. Facing St Peter's Square, it was designed by E. Vincent Harris and constructed between 1930 and 1934. The form of the building, a columned portico attached to a rotunda domed structure, is loosely derived from the Pantheon, Rome. At its opening, one critic wrote, "This is the sort of thing which persuades one to believe in the perennial applicability of the Classical canon".

George VI King of the United Kingdom

George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death on 6 February 1952. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

The building is linked to Manchester Town Hall by two covered bridges at first-floor level over Lloyd Street and has an irregular plan with a concave south side facing the Central Library. Its curved four-storey range with round-headed arches and small windows facing Library Walk is 200 feet in length. The eight-storey building has attics and a basement. It was constructed with a steel frame clad in ashlar sandstone from Darley Dale and a steeply pitched slate roof. The Lloyd Street facade has 29 windows, five of which are set back and its seventh and eighth storeys are set behind a parapet. The 17-window facade to St Peter's Square has small rectangular windows up to the parapet and two-light mullioned windows to the sixth and seventh floors, and its attic dormers have hipped roofs and wooden cross-windows. Along these facades, on the ground floor, is a continuous arcade of plain round-headed openings and a chamfered coping. The upper floors on the Lloyd Street and St Peter's Square facades have a horizontal band over the first floor. The Mount Street facade has five large oriel windows filled with mullion-and-transom windows. The gable ends on Mount Street and St Peter's Square have stair-turrets with round-headed arches containing windows with geometric tracery. Above them are niches with statues. [2] Its stained-glass windows representing Lancastrian coats of arms were designed by George Kruger Gray. [3]

Attic Space or room below a pitched roof of house or other building.

An attic is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building; an attic may also be called a sky parlor or a garret. Because attics fill the space between the ceiling of the top floor of a building and the slanted roof, they are known for being awkwardly shaped spaces with exposed rafters and difficult-to-reach corners.

Ashlar Finely dressed stone and associated masonry

Ashlar is finely dressed stone, either an individual stone that has been worked until squared or the structure built of it. Ashlar is the finest stone masonry unit, generally cuboid, mentioned by Vitruvius as opus isodomum, or less frequently trapezoidal. Precisely cut "on all faces adjacent to those of other stones", ashlar is capable of very thin joints between blocks, and the visible face of the stone may be quarry-faced or feature a variety of treatments: tooled, smoothly polished or rendered with another material for decorative effect.

Sandstone A clastic sedimentary rock composed mostly of sand-sized particles

Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized mineral particles or rock fragments.

Charles Reilly, a contemporary architecture critic, thought the extension was 'dull' and 'drab' while Nikolaus Pevsner considered it was Harris's 'best job'. [1]

Charles Herbert Reilly British architect

Sir Charles Herbert Reilly, was an English architect and teacher. After training in two architectural practices in London he took up a part-time lectureship at the University of London in 1900, and from 1904 to 1933 he headed the Liverpool School of Architecture, which became world-famous under his leadership. He was largely responsible for establishing university training of architects as an alternative to the old system of apprenticeship.

Nikolaus Pevsner German-born British scholar

Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner was a German, later British scholar of the history of art, especially of architecture.


Manchester City Council restored and refurbished the Town Hall Extension and the Central Library from 2010–15 to include a public service hub to make its services more accessible. The public entrances on Mount Street and St Peter's Square were restored to their 1930s appearance and staircases to the lower ground floor were reinstated to access the Central Library which was extended into the basement. The rates hall was restored. The project, delivered by Laing O'Rourke, won the Construction News Judges Supreme Award in June 2015. It was described as an almost impossibly complex project completed on schedule and within budget. [4]

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.

Laing ORourke

Laing O'Rourke is a multinational construction company headquartered in Dartford, England, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1978 by Ray O'Rourke. It is the largest privately owned construction company in the United Kingdom.

Construction News is a weekly publication, plus digital and events services, primarily targeting the United Kingdom construction industry.

See also

Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester Wikimedia list article

There are 236 Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester, England. In the United Kingdom, the term listed building refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance; Grade II* structures are those considered to be "particularly significant buildings of more than local interest". In England, the authority for listing under the Planning Act 1990 rests with English Heritage, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Manchester is a city in Northwest England. The M2 postcode area of the city includes part of the city centre, including the Central Retail District. The postcode area contains 143 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, five are listed at Grade I, the highest of the three grades, 16 are at Grade II*, the middle grade, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade.

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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

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Liverpool Town Hall Grade I listed seat of local government in Liverpool, United Kingdom

Liverpool Town Hall stands in High Street at its junction with Dale Street, Castle Street, and Water Street in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building, and described in the list as "one of the finest surviving 18th-century town halls". The authors of the Buildings of England series refer to its "magnificent scale", and consider it to be "probably the grandest ...suite of civic rooms in the country", and "an outstanding and complete example of late Georgian decoration".

The Portico Library

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Sunlight House grade II listed architectural structure in Manchester, United kingdom

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Architecture of Manchester

The architecture of Manchester demonstrates a rich variety of architectural styles. The city is a product of the Industrial Revolution and is known as the first modern, industrial city. Manchester is noted for its warehouses, railway viaducts, cotton mills and canals - remnants of its past when the city produced and traded goods. Manchester has minimal Georgian or medieval architecture to speak of and consequently has a vast array of 19th and early 20th-century architecture styles; examples include Palazzo, Neo-Gothic, Venetian Gothic, Edwardian baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the Neo-Classical.

Regency Square, Brighton

Regency Square is a large early 19th-century residential development on the seafront in Brighton, part of the British city of Brighton and Hove. Conceived by speculative developer Joshua Hanson as Brighton underwent its rapid transformation from fishing village to fashionable resort, the three-sided "set piece" of around 70 houses and associated structures was designed and built over a ten-year period by Brighton's most important Regency-era architects: the partnership of Charles Busby, Amon Wilds and his son Amon Henry Wilds. The site was originally Belle Vue Field—used at various times as a military camp, a showground and the location of a windmill.

Royal Albert Hospital

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Leigh Town Hall grade II listed seat of local government in the United kingdom

Leigh Town Hall stands facing the parish church across the Civic Square at the junction with Market Street in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England. It was designed for Leigh Borough Council by J.C. Prestwich, who had an architectural practice in the town. Work began in 1904 and the building was opened in 1907. It was granted Grade II Listed status in 1987. Nicholas Pevsner described the building as "An exceptionally good building, expressive yet not showy".

Mackay Town Hall

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  1. 1 2 3 Hartwell, Clare (2002), Manchester, Pevsner Architectural Guides, Yale University Press, p. 85, ISBN   978-0-300-09666-8
  2. 1 2 Historic England, "Town Hall Extension Lloyd Street (1197917)", National Heritage List for England , retrieved 17 December 2011
  3. 1 2 History of Manchester Town Hall Extension, Manchester Council, retrieved 18 December 2011
  4. "Judges Supreme Award: Winner". Construction News. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.