City Square

Leeds, United Kingdom

City Square


City Square is a paved area north of Leeds railway station at the junction of Park Row to the east and Wellington Street to the south. It is a triangular area where six roads meet: Infirmary Street and Park Row to the north, Boar Lane and Bishopsgate Street to the south-east, and Quebec Street and Wellington Street to the south-west. The only building with a direct frontage is the former General Post Office, on the north-west side.

Proposals were made in 1893 to transform the area in front of the station. The demolition of Leeds' Coloured Cloth Hall and Quebec House gave an open space in which a new General Post Office was constructed in 1896 with a public space in front. One proposal was to name the development after John Smeaton, the famous local engineer, but the council unanimously opted to call it City Square, as Leeds was being made a city that year. The initial plan had tramway waiting rooms, and public lavatories welcoming new visitors to Leeds. However, Colonel Thomas Walter Harding (Lord Mayor of Leeds between 1898-9) was so dismayed that he commissioned William Bakewell to design a square more in the style of an Italian piazza, with statues and trees.

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