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Thomas, Sir Alfred Brumwell

Thomas, Sir Alfred Brumwell (1868–1948). English architect. He commenced practice in 1894, and in 1896 won the competition to design the new Belfast City Hall, the grandest of all late-Victorian and Edwardian examples of the Baroque Revival or Wrenaissance. The interiors, notably the monumental stair, are as splendid as the exterior, with its great dome and corner towers modelled on those of Wren's St Paul's Cathedral in London. The building was opened in 1906 and gained Thomas his knighthood in the same year. He followed this triumph with other competition successes, including Stockport Town Hall, Ches. (1903–8), in which a Beaux-Arts influence is clear, although Wren's themes are not entirely absent. Among his other fine town-halls, all of which are competent, confident, and redolent of civic pride, are Plumstead (now Woolwich) Town Hall (1899–1908—in a florid Baroque style with open-bedded segmental pediments, a tower placed asymmetrically, and a long entrance-hall of great magnificence), the Library, Lewisham Way, Deptford, London (1911–14—again Baroque), and the Town Hall, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex (1931—in a Neo-Georgian style, but with a large central pedimented portico).

Bibliography

A. S. Gray (1985);
Service (ed.) (1975);
Service (1977)

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