Details of many of Leicester’s historical buildings and landmarks are being displayed on heritage panels across the city centre.
The panels, which have become popular with tourists and local people, celebrate Leicester’s 2,000 years of history and feature information on key buildings and well-known individuals associated with Leicester.
The latest installations include a series of panels called ‘Modern Leicester’, which focus on buildings of interest in the city since 1918. These include the former Palais de Dance and Lewis’s Tower, both in Humberstone Gate, and the former Leicester City Bus Depot, in the Cultural Quarter.
The Palais de Dance was built in 1927 on the site of an old coal merchants and quickly became established as an upmarket dance venue complete with fountain, ornate plasterwork and crystal chandeliers. For the best part of 85 years, this building was the home of dance in Leicester.
It saw many name changes in more recent years - including The Studio, Zoots and Sosho – but to many local people, it will remain the place where they met their future husband or wife.
Speaking about the research behind the panels, Colin Hyde from the history department at the University of Leicester said, “the research process for this is done at the records office where they have photographs and documents about the buildings, we use trade directories to see when the name changes came in, newspaper clippings”
City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “These panels are proving very popular with both visitors to the city and local people, so I’m really pleased that we’re able to add more of them to the city’s streets.
“Leicester has a rich, 2,000-year history and it’s important that we celebrate and value this. The latest installation of panels includes information on some of Leicester’s more recent historical landmarks, which I’m sure will be of great interest to many people.
“They will be in place in time for our City Festival, from 21 August, so that lots of visitors to the city over the summer Bank Holiday weekend will be able to enjoy and appreciate them, alongside the events and attractions of offer for the festival.”