Coventry City Council

Scope and Content

Papers and plans relating to the Coventry City Council  

  • papers, photographs and plans from Coventry City Architect's Department , 1939-1944
  • collected reports and plans regarding Coventry's redevelopment, 1931-1959

Administrative / Biographical History

Percy Johnson-Marshall was employed by Coventry City Council in the Coventry City Architect's Department between  1938-1941 . During his employment the City Architect was Sir Donald Evelyn Edward Gibson. Gibson was an innovative architect and town planner who embraced a project planning comprehensive redevelopment of the civic centre. These plans became reality after the destruction of the city's historic centre during a World War II bombing raid on  14 November 1940  left the city centre destroyed. Gibson was also interested in social housing and undertook some of the earliest use of prefabricated housing and other innovative construction techniques.

Johnson-Marshall was an enthusiastic and valued member of Gibson's team. He participated in the construction of the first model for the redevelopment of the Civic Centre during his spare time. He was also one of the organisers of the "Coventry of Tomorrow Exhibition" mounted by the Coventry Branch of the Association of Architects, Surveyors and Technical Assistants (AASTA) in  1940 , which show cased Gibson's ideas. When Johnson-Marshall was called up for active service in World War II Gibson made appeals for him to be repatriated to rejoin his team.

Johnson-Marshall's period of employment with Coventry City Council had a profound effect on his later career, introducing him to the reality of planning for reconstruction and comprehensive redevelopment. He later used materials he collected both during and after his employment as the basis of a chapter of his book addressing these topics, Rebuilding Cities (1966 ).


The arrangement of This material is in 2 series. Series A, consists of material collected by Percy Johnson-Marshall while an employee of Coventry City Architect's Department, or relates to work he was actively engaged in there. Series B consists of material he collected at a later date while undertaking research for his book Rebuilding Cities, 1966.

Access Information

Material relating to living individuals may be restricted under the Data Protection Act, 1998.


Former reference numbers: FR22, FR24, FR52, SR6, SR17, SR21, SR45, SR47


Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Related Material

Related material held in Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Division:

  • GB 0237/PJM/ABT/E, "Coventry of tomorrow exhibition"

1 institution which holds archive material relating to Coventry City Council is noted in the National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, and these can be consulted via their website:


Johnson-Marshall, Percy, Rebuilding Cities, (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press , 1966 )

Geographical Names