The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Fenwicks Department Store extension, Belvoir St, Leicester (photo: Chris Matthews)

Event: Leicester city centre walk

The C20 Yorkshire group are so excited about Leicester that they have asked us to give them an introductory guide to the city. A City Centre Walk: Leicester Pluralism & Leicester Modernism will make for a pleasant first event with a friendly and experienced group.

We have agreed to meet up at the Leicester Station porte cochere, on Saturday 27 June at 1:30pm. As representative of the C20 Society East Midlands group I will lead the walk by making sure we aim to follow the itinerary (see below) as best we can. The event is free, welcome to all and should last no longer than 2 or 3 hours – just in time for the cafes on Queens Road.

The walk will take in Leicester’s remarkable architectural pluralism of the interwar period, which is mainly in the city centre, and this will be followed by its more famous postwar modernist achievements at the University. Or as Owen Hatherley says, we’ll be looking at ‘the welcome refusal of metropolitan good taste’ and ‘a couple of the most important buildings of the last hundred years’.

If that doesn’t get you excited then I don’t know what will.

Ideas for future East Midlands group events include a visit to Boots, a tour of the Engineering Building at Leicester, talks about housing issues and a tour of sustainable sites in the region.

Speaking of Boots, the Friends of Nottinghamshire Archives are conducting a visit of the Boots Archive at 7pm on 4 June. Refreshments will be provided and the cost of £5 is payable at the door. Booking for this is essential, so please book by email via

Chris Matthews

Leicester Walk Itinerary
Our itinerary includes more than 20 buildings. Here are some of the highlights:

City Hall, Charles Street,
Barnish and Silcock, 1938

The Odeon Cinema,
Harry Weedon and Robert Bullivant, 1937-8

The Curve Theatre,
Rafael Viñoly, 2008

Creative Quarter Refurbishment
The Heymarket Theatre, BDP, 1973

Queens Building,
Demontfort University, Short and Associates, 1993

Fenwicks Extension,
Belvoir St, interwar, architect?
(Main building by Isaac Barradale , 1880)

Goddard Silver Plate Works
Goddard’s Plate Powder and Polish Co., Percy Herbert Grundy of Bedingfield & Grundy, 1935

War Memorial
Edwin Lutyens, 1923

The University of Leicester: Physics Building (Leslie Martin & Colin St John Wilson, 1959-61); Charles Wilson Building (Denys Lasdun, 1963); the Attenborough Tower (Arup, 1968-70); the Engineering Building (Stirling & Gowan, 1964)