Basic Biographical Details

Name: Leonard Cecil Howitt
Designation: Architect
Born: 1896
Died: 20 May 1964
Bio Notes: Leonard Cecil Howitt was born in Islington in 1896, the only child of William Howitt, type founder, and his wife Ada.and was baptised at Holy Trinity, Islington on 27 December 1896. William seemingly died about 1910, Ada and Leonard returning to Manchester to live with her mother and step-father in Old Trafford.

Leonard Howitt began his career in Manchester City Architect’s office shortly before the First World War and after war service he entered Liverpool University School of Architecture, where he obtained his degree in 1925. Following graduation he joined Herbert J Rowse, in Liverpool, rising to managing assistant and was a member of the team responsible for the design of the Mersey Tunnel. He remained with Rowse until 1934 when he took the appointment of chief architectural assistant to Lancelot H Keay, Liverpool Director of Housing. In 1937 he returned to Manchester as deputy city architect under G Noel Hill, but his career was again disrupted by service in the Army during the Second World War, where he rose to the rank of major. He returned to Manchester in 1945 as acting city architect. In June 1946 he was appointed City Architect and remained in this post until his retirement in 1961.

Among his best known designs in the city are the reconstruction of the Free Trade Hall after bomb damage, the new Courts of Justice (1957-1962), the Terminal Buildings at Manchester Airport and Hollings College (1957-1960). He was also responsible for the design of many schools, colleges and other corporation buildings.

Leonard C Howitt became a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in March 1942. He was its vice-president from 1956-1958 and served on its council for twelve years; he was president of the Manchester Society of Architects, 1955-1957; president of the City and Borough Architects’ Society, 1948-1956; a member of the Architects’ Registration Council,1950-1952; and a member of the Building Research Board, 1951-1955. He also served on a number of other professional committees dealing with architects’ salaries and status and was Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Clerks of Works of Great Britain.. In recognition of his services to Manchester the Regional College of Art awarded him an honorary DA (Manc) in 1959. On his retirement from the corporation in 1961 he entered private practice in Manchester in partnership with Leonard J Tucker.

Leonard C Howitt died on at his home in Mowbray Avenue Brooklands Sale on 20 May 1964 aged 67. He was survived by his wife Patricia two daughters and a son.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Town Hall, Albert Square, ManchesterBusiness19371961Manchester City Architects Department
Item 2 of 2“Scoveston”, Mowbray Avenue, Brooklands, Sale, CheshirePrivate19381964 

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1G Noel Hill19371945Deputy ArchitectExcluding war service

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Leslie Roland Penman 1947Chief AssistantCity Architect, Manchester


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1Richard Rennie Alexander6 December 1955For Fellowship


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Architectural ReviewJanuary 1956  pp 73-4
Item 2 of 2Manchester Guardian22 May 1964  p4 - obituary