|The architect's perspective.|
The Council Offices were situated along Station Road and were attached to the former Free Library by Fredrick C. Cook who later became the Council Surveyor.
The site was purchased from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the cost of the building came to £2,500. The site chosen was an admirable one, as the other recently built public buildings were The Free Library and The Post Office.
On 28-Mar-1903 the architects perspective of the proposed building was published in the Hinckley Times, the proposed cost was to be £1,594 10s. Greaves & Farmer of Hinckley were awarded the contract. The design of the front of the building was to complement that of the Free Library. The work to the building was to be under the supervision of Fredrick C. Cook and he would be assisted by the newly appointed surveyor Mr E.H. Crump.
The building of the Council Offices took over twelve months to complete which was three months over the contracted time due to weather and delays in woodwork being delivered. Fredrick C. Cook made frequent visits to the project as well as Mr E.H. Crump who was his successor.
On Friday 11-Mar-1904 The Council Offices were formally opened.
The Hinckley Times 12-Mar-1904 wrote the following article on the opening: ‘The front is an imposing structure, the design of which partly Italian in style has been made to accord with that of the Free Library. It has been carried out in red brick relieved by various mouldings in the same material. The whole of the bricks and he moulding have been made in the town by Hudson’s brick Company Limited, and the colour and quality of the brickwork must prove an excellent recommendation to the material turned out at these brick works. There is not much stone-work in the building, but the main entrance is of stone. A novelty in the front is the brick carving over the window of the committee room, which has been executed by Mr. Moore of Leicester, who also carved the stone-work design over the front entrance. Worked into this design is the wording 'Urban District Council' and the Town arms. The emblazoned shield is also worked in colour into the lead light over the door-way.’
|Council Offices c.1910 (left/top), Council Offices c.1970s (right/bottom)|
The new two storey Council Offices were to the right of the Free Library with shaped gables, arcaded windows, fluted brick pilasters and a central entrance with a segmental pediment and a fanlight.
The building contained Gas, Rate, Surveyors and Waterworks offices, there was also lavatories on the ground floor, along with a Council Chamber, committee room and a clerk’s office on the 1st floor. The building also had three cellars and a strong room in the basement.
In April 1959 New Council Offices were proposed, it was suggested that the present offices could expand into the Library and the Library could move into the Old Vicarage. The council went with a more ambitious project that was to have a new building built in Argents Mead, which opened on 17-Jul-1968.
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