Friday, 27 July 2012

Let's get Chorlton Library Listed!

If you have seen the front page of this week's South Manchester Reporter (pictured below) you will know that I am leading a campaign to get Chorlton Library Listed. This week I submitted an application for Listed Building status to English Heritage. The City Council are planning to vacate the current building and build a new joint Library and Leisure Centre. As part of this plan the Council will give the current Library building away to property developers to help cover the costs. Whilst there is not currently any specific threat to the building its future is uncertain once it has been given away. Therefore it is important that our Library building is protected for future generations. 

The Library is without doubt my favourite building in Chorlton and I have really enjoyed researching its history. The Library was funded from a £5000 donation from Dr Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish-American steel magnate and philanthropist. It was opened just three months after the start of the First World War on 4 November 1914 by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Alderman McCabe. It was the first time a sitting Lord Mayor of Manchester had officially visited Chorlton. The Building was designed by the first City Architect of Manchester, Henry Price, who also designed the Grade II listed Didsbury Library and many other Manchester landmarks like Victoria Baths. There is a fascinating story that the original plans for the building sent to Dr Carnegie were lost in the North Atlantic on-board The Titanic.

I have my fingers crossed that English Heritage will see the historical and architectural merits of the building and protect it well into the future. Please let me know if you have any additional information or documents that may support the bid.

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