Council house

History of Council house at Birmingham

This building, intended to host both the Municipal Council and the Museum of Art, was built between 1874 and 1879 on the plans of Yeoville Thomason. The entrance of the Municipal Council is on Victoria Square and the entrance of the museum on the side of the Big Brum, the tower that accompanies the building, on Chamberlain Square. The whole was enlarged soon after, between 1881 and 1885 by the same architect. The entrance to the building is a little heavy with its large balcony surmounted by a kind of pompous triumphal arch; but it is decorated with a very beautiful mosaic of the Society Salviati Burke & Co, founded by Antonio Salviati of Venice. Above, there is also an interesting bas-relief depicting Britannia (female personification of Great Britain) receiving industrialists from the city. A large dome crowns everything. To see inside the big banquet room which contains a beautiful Minstrels' Gallery where the orchestra is held during the big receptions. Between 1911 and 1919, the building was doubled with a large extension connected to the museum by a bridge, which resembles the Bridge of Sighs of Venice.

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Location of Council house

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