Centenary Square

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Aerial View of Centenary Square in 2005
The Hall of Memory, Centenary Square
Spirit & Enterprise Sculpture
The Wheel of Birmingham

Centenary Square is a public square on Broad Street in central Birmingham, England, named in 1989 in celebration of the centenary of Birmingham achieving city status in 1889.

The area was purchased in the early 20th century by the council for the creation of a grand civic scheme to include new council offices, mayor's residence, public library and concert hall. The scheme was abandoned after the arrival of World War II with only half of the planned Baskerville House having been built.

The square is a work of art in itself, with paving, railings and lamps designed by artist Tess Jaray. Work on the square cost £3.4 million.[1]

The square was the centrepiece of the millennium celebrations for the city with singer, Cliff Richard lighting a beacon known as The Flame of Hope, which stood between Baskerville House and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Problems with funding resulted in the "perpetual" flame regularly being turned off, and it was eventually removed.

The Library of Birmingham, opened in September 2013, is between Baskerville House and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. The Spirit and Enterprise Fountain has been removed to accommodate it.[2]


All sculptures in the square were paid for by the "Per Cent For Arts" scheme which only pays toward building costs if public sculpture forms at least 1% of the entire building project.[3]


Bus services stop frequently at the square, and there are plans to extend Line One of the Midland Metro to terminate at Centenary Square by 2017. The new tram stop would open public transportation to Broad Street and the surrounding office redevelopments.


  1. ^ Malcolm Miles; Tim Hall (2003). Urban Futures: Critical Commentaries on Shaping the City. Routledge. p. 83. ISBN 0-415-26693-9. 
  2. ^ "Work Begins on Library of Birmingham". Birmingham City Council. 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  3. ^ Hazel Duffy (1995). Competitive Cities: Succeeding in the Global Economy. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-419-19840-7. 
  4. ^ Liam Kennedy (2004). Remaking Birmingham: The Visual Culture Of Urban Regeneration. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-28838-X. 
  5. ^ Sculptor surveys statue damage - BBC News, 23 April 2003 (Retrieved 12 July 2007)
  6. ^ BBC: You'll either love it or hate it - July 23, 1999

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Coordinates: 52°28′44″N 1°54′31″W / 52.4790°N 1.9087°W / 52.4790; -1.9087