County Buildings, designed by architect Henry Hare, was opened in 1895, six years after Staffordshire County Council was formed. A competition was organised to find an architect, in which the Council requested 'good, thoroughly businesslike offices'. The winning design was by Henry Thomas Hare, who was awarded £150. The building itself was constructed by Henry Lovatt of Wolverhampton and took two years to build. The building was lit by electricity, at a time when many public buildings were lit by gas, and the Council Chamber was equipped with an early air conditioning system, still in use today.