Liverpool Central Library I

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Date

28 August 2015

Location

William Brown Street, Liverpool
SJ 34901 90755; 53.40955°N, 2.98077°W

Information

Liverpool Central Library has its origins in the William Brown Museum and Library, which was built between 1857 and 1860. (It still shares this building with part of what has become the World Museum.) The library was later extended with the addition of the Picton Reading Room, which was built between 1875 and 1879 and was named after Sir James Allanson Picton (1805-1889), who from 1852 was Chairman of the Library, Museum & Arts Committee. It was designed by Liverpool architect Cornelius Sherlock (1823-1888) and was based on the reading room of London’s British Museum. The Hornby Library was added in 1906 to house Hugh Frederick Hornby’s (1826-1899) collection of rare books and prints which he had left to the city together with £10,000 for the building’s construction. The latter was designed by City Surveyor of Liverpool Thomas Shelmerdine (1845-1921).

The library was badly damaged during World War II when it was bombed in 1941. It was rebuilt in 1957-60 with the facades of the three original buildings, which are all Grade II* listed, being retained.

In 2008 it was announced that the library would be rebuilt as a modern, state-of-the-art facility, which would involved demolishing and replacing the 1950s annexe. Plans by architects Austin-Smith:Lord were shown to the public in 2009 and the main building closed for the £50 million renovation in July 2010. Following completion of the project, the Central Library was re-opened to the public in May 2013.

Further Reading

Central Library (liverpool.gov.uk);
William Brown Street;
Liverpool’s revamped Central Library is city’s new cathedral of knowledge (Liverpool Echo, 14 May 2013)

Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library

Picton Reading Room, Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Looking up to the skylight from the atrium

Looking up to the skylight from the atrium

The library's Deli Marche Café

The library’s Deli Marche Café

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Skylight

Skylight

Atrium

Atrium

Skylight

Skylight

Skylight

Skylight

Skylight

Skylight

Skylight

Skylight

Read

Read

Information

Information

Self Service

Self Service

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Liverpool Central Library

Roof terrace

Roof terrace

Roof terrace

Roof terrace

Roof terrace

Roof terrace

Deli Marche Café

Deli Marche Café

52

52

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16 thoughts on “Liverpool Central Library I

  1. Spectacular building. I was fond of the way into the library. Good idea. I like your series. I also have a series from the Stockholm library waiting to come up on the blog. The last picture is funny. Looks like she’s just staring into the wall.

  2. Beautiful and intriguing building and so nice to see reading and books celebrated. I like the way the construction gives a phytomorphic feel with the stairs going up to the light, as in Mackintosh’s Glasgow school of art. The staircases look like plant stems from below…anyway, great photos! I wonder how this place is funded, given that all other libraries in the country are being cut back and closed?

  3. Pingback: Liverpool Central Library II | GeoTopoi

  4. Pingback: Central Library, Liverpool | GeoTopoi

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