Leeds Town Hall is a magnificent edifice. It was built between 1853 and 1858 (about the same time as Saltaire) to a design by a young architect called Cuthbert Brodrick. Commissioned by Leeds Corporation to make a statement about the wealth of the city, which by that time because of the Industrial Revolution was an important industrial centre, and to symbolise civic pride and confidence, it over-ran its budget (nothing new there!). It was felt by some to be an indulgence at a time when there was huge poverty and need among the working classes. It towered over the city, being the tallest building by far from 1858 until 1966, when a skyscraper office block was built.
I joined an interesting guided tour of the Town Hall, which took us into the concert hall, an original law court, old prison cells in the basement and right up the tower to the parapet by the clock faces. It must be a bit of a nightmare to maintain these days. Parts of the interior are a bit tatty and there is work ongoing on the exterior, so that the front is currently hidden by sheeting (with pillars painted on, as seems the way these days!)