Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Birmingham Central Library

So, the concrete "incinerator" is about to become a listed building!

As a natural bottleneck to pedestrian communication between Victoria and Centenary Squares, there is indeed something negative about the building, particularly those awful fast food outlets and false pillars in the concourse.

That being said, perhaps we should remember the good work that goes on inside the library, chaotic as it appears to the outsider. Our experience in the genealogy and historic maps sections has always been very positive and many other good works have been seen emanating from the place.

Jon Bounds at BinS thinks that the library should be preserved and all the buildings around it (no, not the Town Hall and BMAG!) be demolished to make a fabulous open space. I am inclined to agree. If we can preserve the New Street Station signal box as an example of 1960s architecture then the concrete collar needs to have other, more impressive, examples if we are to remember this catastrophic planning phase during the city's history.

And one other thought - last summer the flowers outside the library entrance were wonderful - I assume they are there again this year.