Thomas Cecil Howitt – (1889-1968) Civic Pride in Neo-Baroque
The Hucknall born architect changed the face of the City of Nottingham, and the way people lived in it.
Homes Fit For Heroes: Howitt had only just returned from serving in the First World War, when he was asked to lead a team to design houses for vast council housing projects in the City of Nottingham. They are design classics layed out to give as much light and airiness to the interior spaces, in non-uniformed blocks of two, three or four houses. Each with its own garden front and back, and set in garden city-influenced street plans.
A Dome Dominates City: His most famous single project was for a new Council House for Nottingham, in Neo-Baroque style. It was opened in 1928 and included a new processional way in the medieval Market Place. It still stands proudly over the Old Market Square.
Urban Sprawl: Like Britain’s towns in the early 20th Century Howitt’s reputation spread and he was called on to produce public buildings in other places; banks, breweries, cinemas and churches. He could turn his hand to anything.
‘Lion’ in Wait: Apart from the dome the most iconic feature of the Nottingham Council House are the two art-deco stone lions at the front. Originally designed to advertise the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924, they are by Joseph Else. It has become a traditional place to wait for Nottingham folk who have agreed to ‘Meet by the Lions’.