Richard Knill Freeman

Bolton architect

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West Hartlepool municipal buildings

Built 1886-89; listed Grade II; now College of art and design

This was won in a competition in 1886, judged by Alfred Waterhouse. Freeman’s entry was controversial. Designs were submitted using a motto to ensure the judge did not know the author of the design. Freeman used the motto “FRIBA” and this was criticised in the Builder:

“Professional assessors are not always engaged and such a motto may, or may not, influence unprofessional judges; at all events I feel pretty sure that the use of the initials in question as a motto in competition will be condemned by the profession generally, and a very large majority of members of the RIBA ; and hope we may not see them used again for such a purpose.”

Pevsner described the building as “semi-Dutch, semi-Flamboyant a la George & Peto”.


The Graphic; May 11 1889      >>>

Building News 56, p.636

Hartlepool Museum Service; Bricks and Mortar, A celebration of Architecture in Hartlepool 1834-1984

The Builder, 6 March 1886