Five things: Leeds Civic Hall

Leeds Town Hall. PIC: Jonathan Chippindale

Leeds Town Hall. PIC: Jonathan Chippindale

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Think you know Leeds Civic Hall? Think again.

Leeds Civic Hall in Leeds town centre was officially opened by King GeorgeV, who was accompanied by his wife Queen Mary, on Wednesday, August 23, 1933.

Sixty years after the key used to open the hall went missing, a couple visiting Leeds returned it after finding it among the effects of their father, an executor to a former Lord Mayor.

Designed by architect Vincent Harris, the Civic Hall cost around £360,000 to build, while prior to its construction the offices of the Lord Mayor were housed in the Town Hall.

On each of its towers perches an owl, one of the symbols of Leeds. Each owl was cast in bronze, measures 2.3 metres (7ft 6in) and weighs 500 kilograms, the equivalent of half a ton.

Almost triangular in shape, Leeds Civic Hall was constructed on a sloping site of 7070 square metres (8460 square yds) and designed to gain the full benefit of light and air.

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