Newport Civic Centre

Photograph by Chris Barton. Reproduced under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

Newport Civic Centre is the seat of government for the city of Newport, South Wales. Newport City Council has its main offices located in the Art Deco building which also includes Magistrates’ Courts and a Crown Court complex.

The building was designed by architect Thomas Cecil Howitt, who was also the architect for Baskerville House in Birmingham and the Council House in his native Nottingham. The ceremonial first sod was cut on July 14, 1937 by King George VI, with the building finally open to the public in 1940. However, due to the war, work on the clock tower was suspended until 1963. On September 10th of that year the Corporation voted to complete the building of the clock tower at a cost of £126,900. This was despite a poll of 8,734 signatures in which the public voted 40-to-1 against. Conservative Alderman Dolman said that he could use the £126,900 cost to buy gold watches for everyone living within sight of the clock.

The base of the completed clock tower contains a collection of 12 murals by the German artist Hans Feibusch. The murals were commissioned in the 1960s and completed in 1964. They depict the history of the City from Celtic times to the building of the George Street Bridge over the River Usk.In recent years, conservation work has been necessary with specialist photographers recording the works prior to detailed restoration work being undertaken.

The Mayor’s office is located in the Civic Centre however, the Mayor’s official residence is the Mansion House.

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