• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Birmingham Central Library 2010 Pictures

Derelict-UK

master brummie
Birmingham Central Library is one of the best buildings in Birmingham imo, its cold grey exterior hides an amazing architectural layout inside. I suppose it is a ‘Marmite’ building, some people love it and others hate it, well I love it and it will be a shame to see it go.

The Library will be moving to a new site in 2012 and this will be either converted or demolished.

Taken with permission from the library and permission to publish the images on this forum.

For further images (there are 84 in total) Please visit my website, www.photoaddiction.co.uk


Pics...






8.


9.





17.






D-UK


 
Last edited by a moderator:

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi d-uk as you say you either love this library or you dont..i for one would much rather have this type of archictecture still around. i showed these pics to my american son in law who is an archictect and he could not believe such a building was no more....it was a sad day when it was demolished i shall lose no sleep if the present one is..thanks for posting your pics though

lyn
 

Attachments

Last edited by a moderator:

john knight

signman
The Egyptians were building these thousands of years ago, but they built them the right way up, they are called pyramids.
 

Dennis Williams

Proud Brummie
Yeah John, they're so...concretey and front steppy. But the toilets are useful, and the escalator sometimes goes up as well as down. And my 15 month old grandson built one very similar last week from his Big Lego bricks. And he's barely trained...
 

dek carr

gone but not forgotten
There,s a lot of my blood and sweat from the 70s gone into this concrete block and they are going to knock it down i don,t believe it Mr Meldrew ah well that,s life.I preferred the one that was there before it.Dek
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Like many of us older Brummies, I knew/know both buildings well, but the newer one will never give me a sense of "sorry to see you go" like the old one did, if that is its eventual fate and I'm pretty sure it will be.

Birmingham's big problem is that it has no "stability". The whole of the centre seems to be a continuous and permanent building site leading in the main to uglier buildings. When I left the city in early 1961, the centre was in absolute chaos as they had just started the construction of Smallbrook Ringway. I didn't return for many years and came back to a driver's nightmare, disappearing down tunnels and not knowing where you were going to emerge, and seeing places you always knew how to get to, but found that you no longer could.

On the plus side, we had a new library, a new New Street Station, and a New Street that was no longer clogged up with traffic - that must be the first time since the 1800s!

On the minus side, Five Ways is ugly, Aston Expressway is even uglier, and Ladywood is just full of hideous blocks of yuppie flats!

But no sooner have things started to settle down than they are now about to gut the centre again, so more disruption. WHY???

Maurice
 

Rupert

master brummie
The trees and fountain spire are the only things on the landscape worth a darn. Thay've gotta go...

Many of the old buildings that were destroyed for someones dream (nightmare) were priceless...the old old library, Masons College and that street feeling and the buildings in Temple Row and more...made up the streetscape of the city to be replaced by tunnels and traffic flows. Go around !! I liked the traffic on New Street and am sure that the back yard patio that it is now endowed with would not feel at all right to me. The buildings therein would seem like an entombed mausoleum I think. Maybe like he streets of Pompei sans the cart ruts.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi maurice....hope you are well...this is something i have never understood. so many.our fine old buildings that surely would have lasted for at least a couple of hundred years or more have been demolished only to be replaced by inadequate poorly built and badly designed replacements with a life expectency of around 50 years...i dont think that the powers that be will ever build anything now that will still be standing in 100 years time....they learnt nothing by demolishing so many wonderful buildings in the 50s and 60s and i fear never will....we have lost so much history now and very little is left for our children and grandchildren to see....

lyn
 
Last edited:
M

maxwell bullivant

Guest
I was in the Central library a while back, and to be honest i havent been back since. The facilities for people with walking problems were appalling, particularly as one part of the escalators were not working. The building itself in my opinion is ugly, as were most of the buildings thrown up in the 70s, hence the need to remove from it now to a better appointed, more accessible building. Max
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Hi Lyn,

I agree with you 100%. Here in Crete we live in a stone cottage that is probably 200 years old and which we have restored and added a concrete/stone extension. The old stone part has some character and has withstood umpteen earthquakes. Even though empty for 25 years before we bought it, it was never in danger of falling down. We used as much stone as we could on the extension, but since 1960, houses over one storey have had to have a reinforced concrete earthquake-proof core which doesn't really lend itself to traditional buildings. However, the concerete buildings frequently suffer from condensation and black mould that is never a problem with the traditional builds. I certainly know which I prefer!

Sadly Birmingham is not on its own when it has destroyed its heritage buildings - Bournemouth is ten times worse! But it's all down to money - cheaper to demolish and build a concrete monstrosity than it is to properly restore a decent old building.

Maurice
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi maurice your stone cottage sounds so lovely...and yes i agree with you its not just brum that has lost so much heritage and history and its a sad fact but what has gone will never be able to be replaced...i just wished that the fat cats had given more thought to this fact 50 or 60 years back...still.. its too late now and all we can do is hope that what we do have left will remain...im not holding my breath though....

lyn
 
M

maxwell bullivant

Guest
Prince Charles once described the Birmingham Library as a building which looked more suitable for burning books than reading them in. Well not everything he says is wrong, in my opinion. Max
 

Frothblower

Lubrication In Moderation
I for one will miss the Library when it's demolished. It knocks spots of the abomination whats being built at the moment.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
I've seen photos in my books about the changes to Birmingham. They demolished lots of Victorian buildings for these unloved concrete disasters!

Guess no one in the '60s cared about saving historic buildings, all they cared about was building the Inner Ring Road, and these old buildings were in the way.

The old Victorian library looked much better. There was too much clutter in the old Chamberlain Squarem before they altered it (more statues).

Weren't any of them Grade I or II* listed buildings (or Grade II).

In the '80s they realised that old buildings were worth saving and restoring along with the new buildings.
 
M

maxwell bullivant

Guest
Planning permission was today granted for the £193 million Library of Birmingham, paving the way for the groundbreaking building to open its doors to the public by 2013.

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council commented:

“For the second time in a week Birmingham’s aspiration to transform the ‘West Side’ of the city, from the ICC through to the Council House, have been handed a massive boost.

“The new Library of Birmingham will be an iconic landmark, and a testament to the role we will play in the 21st century as a truly global city. I am delighted that today’s decision supports our plans to push forwards, and start building.

“We are juxtaposing culture and regeneration on a far greater scale than any other UK city. Through the strategic investment of £193m, into a landmark for the region, we will lever in millions of pounds of investment. Already people are excited about the confidence we have in our future, and want to be a part of our story.

“This is excellent news for Birmingham, and I look forward to enjoying the new Library and Repertory Theatre when they open in 2013.”

The library will occupy a prime site on Centenary Square between the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The REP) and Baskerville House and is a major flagship for the regeneration of the city which will create 250 consutruction jobs including at least 25 apprenticeships.

Integrated with The REP at ground floor and mezzanine levels, it will create a unique centre for learning, information and culture which is anticipated to attract up to 10,000 visitors a day, doubling the current figure of almost 5000 per day at the existing Central Library.

A grand circular open-air amphitheatre in front of the building will create a dramatic visual link between the Library at Lower Ground Level and Centenary Square, providing natural light and a sheltered outdoor space for staging events.

A generous shared entrance to the Library and The REP will be sheltered below a public balcony, creating a magnificent space to watch events in the square. Above the balcony, the building volume steps away, creating a second open-air space, an elevated garden with spectacular views over the city.

The new building has been designed to function flexibly around rapidly developing new digital technologies, creating new opportunities for learning and access. It will provide increased space and improved climatic conditions for storage of the library’s world famous archives, collections of photography, and Early and Fine Printing including rare treasures such as the Shakespeare First Folio of 1623 and JJ Audubon’s Birds of America, one of the world’s largest books. Exhibition space will be dramatically increased to allow for improved public access to the archives and visiting exhibitions. THIS ARTICLE DATED 30th NOV 2009. Well in my opinion this new building sounds excellent. Max
 

rosie

brummie
I have just found this old thread. There are some impressive predictions about the present Library!! What a pity the "improved access" isn't happening!
What is the current number of daily visitors? Has the amphitheatre had many events?
rosie.
 
Top