Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Civic Centre (Southend)

The Civic Centre is a striking tower block in the thriving Essex town of Southend.

It contains the council offices and council chamber.

The Civic Centre is situated in Victoria Avenue, the final piece of the Southend Arterial Road, the main road from London which was built in the 1930s, and just South of Southend's mother village of Prittlewell.

In the 1960s, the avenue's large houses and their gardens were swept away, and the Civic Centre was built. Nearby are a college, library, courts and police headquarters, all constructed at about the same time.

Originally, a sculpture representing Leda and the Swan adorned the piazza in front of the Civic Centre. It caused a storm in two ways. Firstly, the people of Southend mostly resented paying the sculptress (who they felt should have done it for love), and secondly, they thought it was a bit rude.

There is now a subdued Holocaust memorial.

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