Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Countdown begins for Central Library

The government turned down the application to turn John Madin's library into a listed building.

After a long deliberation, Culture and Tourism Minister Margaret Hodge decided against granting Birmingham Central Library listed status.

This means that the demolition squad are one step away from being given the go-ahead, paving the way for the £600m redevelopment of Paradise Circus, which so far has been fiercely opposed by both the Friends of the Central Library and English Heritage.

It's not yet know what is going to happen at the site. According to the Birmingham Post, "bulldozers won’t be able to move in until the summer of 2013, when the Central Library will be replaced by a £193 million library in Centenary Square", right next door to the REP theatre.

The most likely outcome is that Paradise Forum will be converted into an outdoor mixed development of shops, offices and apartments to link together Chamberlain Square and Centenary Square.


Helen Highwater said...

It's going to be a bit of a hair-raiser, how they're going to deal with the Conservatoire and Bham School of Speech & Drama buildings as well because they're all interlocking (as far as I can see).

But one wonders what they'd do with the library as a building as it now is. Presumably the main reason they're rebuilding it is because it's no longer fit for purpose, with its one lift and escalators that never work!

Then again... the £600m redevelopment... more offices, more shops... isn't that all there is in Birmingham these days?! And aren't there lots of them which are empty, and were even when we were having a buoyant economy?

(interesting to note that Paradise Circus gets over three times as much money as the library... unless the library were to have a row of shops in it, of course. Then again, the Muirhead at uni now features a goddamn Starbucks...)

Acidfairyy said...

OH thank God! That library is nothing but an eyesore. With the redevelopment of the city centre that's been going on, it looks so out of place. I am excited to see what they will build in its place!

Newmania said...

Tourism Minister Margaret Hodge

Funny you should mention her , she will be defending Barking , ran a catastrophicly Loony left Council in Islington .
Anyway if you are back to cat stuck up tree shock, stuff I`m offski.Enjoyed your stuff actually , thought provoking ( if wrong )


Simon said...

The central library is badly laid out, difficult to get around and poorly stocked. For the main library of the second biggest English city I've always thought it really is dreadful. But, if the Paradise Forum plans don't include a new library, then I'd rather stick with what we have.