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Leeds Civic Hall (1931-33)

Emanuel Vincent Harris OBE (June 26, 1876 – August 1, 1971) was an English architect who was most notably responsible for the design of several important public buildings.

He was born in Devonport, Devon and educated at Kingsbridge Grammar School. He was articled to the Plymouth architect James Harvey in 1893;[1] in 1897 he moved to London where he assisted E. Keynes Purchase, Leonard Stokes and Sir William Emerson.[1] From 1901 to 1907 he worked for the London County Council before setting up in private practice. He was primarily classicist; A. Stuart Gray wrote: "Some of his buildings suggest the influence of Sir Edwin Lutyens, but are bolder, balder, and less subtle or more frank depending on ones point of view."[1] His work was often criticised by Modernist architects. In his acceptance speech when he was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1951 Harris is reported to have said: "Look, a lot of you here tonight don't like what I do and I don't like what a lot of you do ...".[1] He became an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1942 and died in Bath. His grave is in a rural church yard in Somerset at a village called Chaffcombe.

Important works


  1. ^ a b c d Julian Holder (2007), Emanuel Vincent Harris and the survival of classicism in inter-war Manchester, in Clare Hartwell & Terry Wyke(editors), Making Manchester, Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society, ISBN 978-0-900942-01-3

Further reading

  • Gray, A. Stewart (1985). Edwardian Architecture: a biographical dictionary. Duckworth.  
  • Reilly, Charles (1929). "E. Vincent Harris". Building 4 (9): 393.  


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